Guanacaste Hardwood


Guanacaste wood, also known by its botanical name Enterolobium cyclocarpum, is a versatile timber with a range of uses. Its heartwood ranges from pale brown to dark walnut-brown, with dark variegated streaks and greenish shade, and occasionally a reddish tinge. The sapwood, which is clearly differentiated from the heartwood, is nearly white. The grain is typically interlocked, with a medium to coarse texture and a glossy surface. The crotchwood of guanacaste is often highly figured, making it ideal for joinery, furniture, guntimber sections and more. Guanacaste is a sustainable and legal source of timber, and is sure to bring a unique character to any project.

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Also Called:
Conocaste, Perota, Kelobra, Rain Tree, Orejo, Jenisero, Timbo, Carocaro, Eartree

Durability Notes:
Guanacaste wood is moderately durable

The drying and seasoning of Guanacaste 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; Guanacaste - dries fairly easily and quickly and has a slight tendency to split or warp. Guanacaste exhibits small movement 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.

Guanacaste is low in all strength categories and has poor bending properties. Guanacaste is easily worked with machine or hand tools but raised grain may be a problem when planing. The wood has a tolerable blunting effect on cutting edges. Guanacaste nails, screws, glues and polishes well.

Typical Uses:
furniture, flooring, cabinetry, veneers, musical instruments, carvings, turnings, sculptures.

Moisture Content:
Guide - 10-18% for KD (+/- 2%)

Commonly asked questions about Guanacaste Wood

Is Guanacaste a hardwood or a softwood? Guanacaste is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Guanacaste hardwood or softwood? - Guanacaste 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 Guanacaste 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 Guanacaste? Guanacaste can be described as brown, dark brown, yellow/brown

Is Guanacaste good for outdoor use? or is Guanacaste good for exterior use? Guanacaste is most suited for internal/interior use. Guanacaste should not 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

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