Mango Wood - Characteristics, Benefits and Uses
While mango tree is much better known around the world for
its popular fruit, this South Asian tropical species from
the flowering plant genus Mangifera can also be successfullycultivated for the production of wood. However, Mangifera indica
can only produce wood that is suitable for cutting into lumber when the
fruit-bearing lifespan has finished
, and the
tree can dedicate more of the nutrients into growing its size and
quality if heartwood
Mango wood does not have a large presence on the worldwide market of
lumber trading, it’s heartwood is still used extensively in India for the production for
cheaper furniture, some musical instruments, flooring, plywood, turned
There are several reasons why Mango tree is experiencing a big boom of
lumber exploitation right now. While its wood is considered to be of moderate quality, one of the large
benefits of its production can be found in the speed of growth. Mango trees
can grow to the state of commercial lumber exploitation in between just
seven to fifteen years
The second benefit is that after harvesting, mango heartwood
does not require extensive processing, seasoning, and drying
. In fact, it can be sent to final processing almost immediately after
cutting into construction material or furniture moments after it was cut
from the ground. The third reason why Mango has wood experienced growth in
worldwide use is that many of its
core and visual characteristics are similar to the popular teak
Since population of Mango tree can be quickly replenished than those of
teak and several other tree types that are listed as vulnerable or near
extinction, this wood has become a viable alternative to it, and it has
given a chance to several types of trees to rebound and grow back to the
size they landed on IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Mango tree itself
is not listed as threatened or vulnerable, because today this tree can not
only be found in southern Asia (and especially India where this tree is
very common) but also in several other countries around the world where the
dry and hot climate fits the needs of this incredible tree. In the United
States, Mango can be grown only in the southernmost states.
What is Mango Wood
Mango wood is categorized as hardwood because of its
strength, density, attractive looks and of course durability that allows it
not to wear out quickly and keep their high luster texture for many years.
These capabilities have made it suitable for the production of various
household objects, ranging from doors and flooring to beds, tables, drawers and other
furniture. The fascinating texture of mango gives this
wood a special kind of appeal, with colors ranging from dark tones to light
brown, sometimes with a hint of pink. As with many other types of woods,
Mango wood will slowly get darker with age. While Mango is
not a record holder in its native ability to remain trouble-free after a
long period of time, modern wood processing manufacturers are managing to
enhance its durability with finishing coating that can transform Mango into
truly durable kind of wood which is perfect for household furniture,
including heavy-duty objects such as tables, beds, beams and arches.
Mango’s hardwood consists of very dense grain that is durable, strong and
not too hard on tools during woodworking. It can easily be cut and
re-shaped into any form woodworker desires, which is not the case with
other hardwoods. The fiber grains are packed so close one to another that
the surface can receive a very high level of polish that gives out the
satisfying level of polish that is similar to many other exotic types of
wood. In addition to polishing, mango wood is also friendly to waxing and staining, making it excellent for
use in the creation of furniture or other household objects.
The color of mango wood is most often golden brown,
although there are also
variations that have more yellow tint or are featuring black or pink
streaks across its surface
This color scheme makes mango wood very visually appealing. Sapwood and
an outer layer of wood are also susceptible to the growth of fungi and
spalting, which causes additional changes in colors, and spreading of the black patterns in the grain.
While mango is not usually as resistant to the air like some other types of
exotic hardwoods, it has excellent durability in water. Mango’s internal
structure easily repels water damage (and even more if it was polished!),
which makes it a great choice for outdoor furniture.
Finally, since the mango is readily available for growth all across many
territories of the world (with many of the lumber available from older
trees which are no longer producing popular Mango fruit, which is regarded
as national fruit of India), the price of mango lumber on
the worldwide market is kept on very reasonable and stable levels. Steady supply and sustainable growth are also great.
The origin of domesticated Mango tree can be traced all the way back toancient India, some four thousand years ago. After spreading across the India
where it was grown for its fruit and wood, Mangifera indica was
brought to East Asia between 4th and 5th century BC. With the establishment
of water trade routes operated by Portuguese, Mango tree in 16th century AD
reached Philippines, Brazil, and Africa where it flourished ever since.
Swedish botanist, zoologists, and physician Carl Linnaeus
scientifically described Mangifera indica in 1753.
Today, Mango fruit is the national fruit of India, Philippines, and
Pakistan, and the tree itself is national tree of the country of Bangladesh.
Tree size - 80-100 ft (24-30 m)
Trunk diameter - 3-4 ft (1-1.2 m)
Janka Hardness - 1,070 lbf (4,780 N)
Average Dried Weight - 42 lbs/ft3 (675 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC) - .52, .68
Crushing Strength - 7,240 lbf/in2 (49.9 MPa)
Modulus of Rupture - 12,830 lbf/in2 (88.5 MPa)
Elastic Modulus - 1,672,000 lbf/in2 (11.53 GPa)
Shrinkage:Radial - 3.6%, Tangential: 5.5%, Volumetric: 8.9%, T/R Ratio: 1.5
Odor - None
Workability - Easy, except when interlocked grain is present which can
cause tearouts during cutting and machining. The wood can also react
strongly during sawing, with significant shifting and banding on the blade.
High silica content can cause rapid dulling of the tools. The wood easily
takes screws, nails, glue, and finishing
Texture - Coarse to medium texture with a good natural luster. Can be
Grain - Straight or interlocked.
Sustainability - Not listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Can
Required growth density - No particular requirements.
Drying - Easy, but not required for the majority of commercial
applications. It can be processed immediately after cutting form the
Durability - Medium to long. Can be protected with finishes, and polished
Mango wood has enhanced water resistance.
Maintenance - Low
Price - Cheap
Mango hardwood is used in the creation of various household and outdoor
items objects. It can most commonly be found in:
Small furniture (desks, chairs)
Large furniture (wall cabinets, kitchen cabinets, display units…)
Outdoor furniture (garden furniture)
Musical instruments (especially ukuleles, drums, and guitars)
Doors and window frames
Kitchen accessories (chopping boards, tabletops, bowls, serving trays...)
Curing leather (mango wood is a source of tannins)
Various parts of Mango trees (including its fruit) are today used intraditional medicine for the creation of various remedies and for the cooking of countless types of
food. Bark, laces, steam and unripe fruits have all been
proven to have antibiotic properties, which can be
absorbed by our body without any special processing and preparation.
The fruit peel of Mango is filled with Allergenic urushiols, which
can cause strong contact dermatitis in some sensitive individuals, such as
those who are already allergic to other plants from Anacardiaceae family (poison ivy and poison oak).
During woodworking, Mango wood dust can cause skin irritation.