The Greenheart Timber Facts Sheet
Scientific Name: Ocotea rodiaei/Chlorocardium rodiei
Greenheart Distribution: Commercial quantities mostly in the north ventral portion of Guyana but also found in
Surinam and in the Venezuelan Guiana. It has also been reported from the Maroni/Region of Western
French Guiana and from northern Brazil.
The Greenheart Tree: Grows to a height os 130 ft. with diameters up to 40 in., commonly 16 to 24 in. indiameter with
height of 100 ft. Boles are cylindrical, straight, and clear for 50 to 75 ft. with only moderate taper; usually
basally swollen or with low buttresses.
General Characteristics the Greenheart: Heartwood varies from light to dark olive green or blackish, often with
intermingling of lighter and darker areas; not sharply defined from the pale yellow orgreenish sapwood.
Texture fine and uniform; grain straight to roey; lustrous; odorless and tasteless when dry.
Greenheart Weight: Basic specific gravity (oven-dry weight/green volume) 0.80 to .091; air-dry density 62 to 70 pcf.
Greenheart Mechanical Properties: (First set of data based on the 2-cm standard; second on the 2-in. standard)
Modulus of Elasticity
Max. Crushing Strength
Green (42) 20,300 2,310 9,770
12% 26,200 3,040 13,040
Green (40) 20,900 3,040 10,690
12% 25,500 3,700 13,040
Drying and Shrinkage: Wood dries very slowly with a marked tendency to check and split; however, warping
is not serious and the total amount of degrade is not excessive. Lumber over 1 in. in thickness should be air-seasoned prior to kiln-drying. Kiln schedule T2-C2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T2-C2 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to overdry: radial 8.8%; tangential 9.6%; volumetric 17.1% Movement in service is rated medium.
Greenheart Timber Working Properties: Moderately difficult to work with hand or machine tools because of its density, dulls
cutting edges rather quickly but finishes to a fine smooth lustrous surface. Turns easily and takes a high
polish. A moderately good steam-bending wood. Glue gives variable results.
Durability of Greenheart Timber: The heartwood is rated highly resistant to attack by decay fungi and also rated as highly resistant
to attack by marine borers but this may vary from one locality to another, particularly in brackish water. Highly
resistant to attack by dry-wood termites.
Preservation: Impermeable to preservative treatments.
Greenheart Timber Uses: Marine and ship construction, lock gates, docks, industrial flooring, vats, filter press plates, piling, heavy
construction, turnery, specialty items (fishing rods, billiard cue butts).