Greenheart, also known by its botanical name Chlorocardium rodiaei, is a durable and resilient tropical hardwood species. It is a part of the Lauraceae family and is native to the Caribbean, South America and West Africa. Greenheart's heartwood is typically a pale olive green colour with darker streaks, while its yellow-green sapwood is similar in colour. The grain of Greenheart is straight to interlocked, with a fine to medium texture and a good natural luster. This timber is highly resistant to decay and is often used in marine environments for jetties, piers and other structures.
Demerara Greenheart, Viruviru, Demerara
Greenheart is very durable, and is also resistant to most insect attacks. Greenheart is also considered to be one of the best-suited woods for use in marine environments, and has good weathering characteristics
The drying and seasoning of Greenheart is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Greenheart - Trees are commonly girdled for air drying, this reduces impact on the grade and quality of the wood. Prone to surface cracking. The wood is expected to move very little in service. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.
Greenheart is somewhat challenging to work due to its density. It has a tolerable to high blunting effect on cutters. Gluing can be challenging in some pieces and precautions for gluing tropical species should be followed. Turns and finishes well.
Boatbuilding, docks, decking, posts, fishing rods, pool cues, and other turned wood items.
Possible Health Risks:
Cardiac and intestinal disorders and throat irritation. Splinters and poisonous
Wood Worker's Thoughts:
Hard, durable and heavy - often used marine environments.
Commonly asked questions about Greenheart Wood
Is Greenheart a hardwood or a softwood? Greenheart is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Greenheart hardwood or softwood? - Greenheart is a hardwood.
Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Greenheart family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.
What colour is Greenheart? Greenheart can be described as brown, dark brown, green, orange
Is Greenheart good for outdoor use? or is Greenheart good for exterior use? Greenheart is most suited for exterior/external use. Greenheart can be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).
Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood