Idigbo Hardwood


Idigbo is a yellow-brown coloured hardwood, originating from West Africa, and is renowned for its use in paint-finished interior shop-fitting and joinery. It is a light and moderately durable hardwood, often used as an inexpensive alternative to Oak, and is scientifically known as Terminalia ivorensis (Combretaceae). Idigbo is usually imported in FAS grade, however, it may present signs of discoloration and/or sticker marks due to kilning, and pin-holes caused by the African and Asian ambrosia beetle. It is important to note that these are not considered defects. Due to the history of some illegal logging, and challenges with legal verification at the country of origin, Idigbo is not always readily available, however, there are sustainable and legal sources which can change from time to time.

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Also Called:
Framire, Black Afara, Emeri, Bajee, Bajii.

Durability Notes:
Idigbo is usually durable, but the sapwood can be vulnerable to attack from powder-post and longhorn beetles. It is very resistant to preservative treatment, although the sapwood has medium permeability.

The drying and seasoning of Idigbo 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; Idigbo - The wood dries well and fairly quickly, with little impact on the grade and quality of the wood. There can be slight checking and distortion. 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.

Idigbo is a dense hardwood. Paints, oils and finishes adequately.

Moisture Content:
14-18% KD

Possible Health Risks:
The dust can cause skin and respiratory problems.

Considered vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (this was last assessed in 1998 and considerable changes in awareness and more stringent forestry controls may have had an impact – the results of the latest assessment is due soon) for more information and latest updates please visit and type in the botanical name of the species into the search box. It should also be noted that one unintentional shortcoming of the Red List is that it only considers the risk of extinction; broader issues dealing with habitat destruction or deforestation are not considered. Also, it does not necessarily take into account the maturity of the trees (i.e., centuries-old trees are cut down, and subsequently replanted with saplings) Therefore we hope that further assessments will consider this long term commitment to re-growth.The reason Idigbo is at risk is due to; moderate exploitation and poor regeneration is often attributed to crop failure.

Wood Worker's Thoughts:
It is unstable and our least favourite timber. Not very attractive and not that nice to work with - not much going for it really!, apart from it is a relatively inexpensive hardwood (only our opinion!)

Commonly asked questions about Idigbo Wood

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

Is Idigbo good for outdoor use? or is Idigbo good for exterior use? Idigbo is most suited for exterior/external use. Idigbo 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

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