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 manufacture of cheaper furniture, some musical instruments, flooring, plywood, turned objects and more.

Mango Wood

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.

Origin

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.

Characteristics

Mango Wood Texture
  • 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 polished well.
  • Grain - Straight or interlocked.
  • Sustainability - Not listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Can grow
  • 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 ground.
  • Durability - Medium to long. Can be protected with finishes, and polished Mango wood has enhanced water resistance.
  • Maintenance - Low
  • Price - Cheap

Uses

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)
  • Flooring
  • Paneling
  • Veneer
  • Plywood
  • Turned objects
  • Musical instruments (especially ukuleles, drums, and guitars)
  • Table boards
  • Beds
  • Doors and window frames
  • Kitchen accessories (chopping boards, tabletops, bowls, serving trays...)
  • Curing leather (mango wood is a source of tannins)

Benefits

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.

Problems

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.

Mango Tree Wood