Mango is a very common tree on the island of St. Lucia, and is rarely available in the US hardwood market. It has bee gaining popularity in other countries for use in furniture due to it’s beautiful appearance, resistance to moisture, and sustainability. Once the tree has stopped bearing fruit, and aged at least 50 years, it is a plentiful and and eco-friendly source of lumber. Mango is often heavily figured, and makes beautiful slabs.
Common Name(s): Mango, Hawaiian Mango
Scientific Name: Mangifera indica
Distribution: Tropical Asia and Oceania
Tree Size: 80-100 ft (24-30 m) tall, 3-4 ft (1-1.2 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 42 lbs/ft3 (675 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .52, .68
Janka Hardness: 1,070 lbf (4,780 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 12,830 lbf/in2 (88.5 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 1,672,000 lbf/in2 (11.53 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 7,240 lbf/in2 (49.9 MPa)
Shrinkage:Radial: 3.6%, Tangential: 5.5%, Volumetric: 8.9%, T/R Ratio: 1.5
Grain/Texture: Grain can be straight or interlocked. With a medium to coarse texture and good natural luster.
Color/Appearance: Because of the spalting that is commonly present, the wood can be a kaleidoscope of colors. Under normal circumstances, heartwood is a golden brown, while other colors such as yellow and streaks of pink and/or black can also occur. Paler sapwood is not always clearly defined. Curly or mottled grain patterns are also common.
Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; large pores in no specific arrangement; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; tyloses and heartwood deposits occasionally present; growth rings may be distinct due to the presence of marginal parenchyma; rays barely visible without lens; parenchyma may be banded (marginal), paratracheal parenchyma vasicentric, aliform (lozenge), and confluent.
Rot Resistance: Mango is rated anywhere from moderately durable to perishable. However, Mango is also susceptible to both fungal and insect attack.
Workability: If interlocked or wild grain is present, tearout is common when machining. Reaction wood may also be present, which can shift as it is being sawed, potentially causing binding on the blade. Has a fairly high silica content, and will readily dull cutting edges. Glues and finishes well.
Odor: No characteristic odor.
Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Mango has been reported to cause skin irritation.
Pricing/Availability: Steady availability from specialty sources, usually from Hawaii, though Asian sources are also common. Mango is sold in board and slab form, as well as craft and instrument blanks. Prices for unfigured boards are in the moderate range for an imported lumber, and it is usually less expensive than Koa, another popular Hawaiian hardwood. Figured boards with curly figure, spalting, and/or vivid coloration are much more expensive.
Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is reported by the IUCN as being data deficient. It was formerly listed on the Red List as vulnerable.
Common Uses: Furniture, ukuleles, veneer, plywood, turned objects, and flooring.
Comments: Known much more widely for its fruit, Mango trees also yield beautiful and valuable lumber. The wood is considered very eco-friendly, as some Mango plantations harvest the trees for lumber after they have completed their useful fruit-bearing lifespan.