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Wood physical, Anatomical and Mechanical properties of Big Leaf Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla Roxb) a potential exotic for South India

Author Affiliations

  • 1College of Forestry, Kerala Agricultural University, Kau (P.O.), Thrissur, Kerala 680656, INDIA
  • 2College of Forestry, Kerala Agricultural University, Kau (P.O.), Thrissur, Kerala 680656, INDIA
  • 3College of Forestry, Kerala Agricultural University, Kau (P.O.), Thrissur, Kerala 680656, INDIA
  • 4Central Wood Testing Laboratory, RRDTC Complex, Rubber Board Manganam PO., Kottayam-686 018, INDIA

Res. J. Agriculture & Forestry Sci., Volume 2, Issue (8), Pages 7-13, August,8 (2014)

Abstract

Big leaf mahoganySwietenia macrophylla Roxb. belonging to family Meliaceae is a most valuable timber tree species of the world. Due to the dwindling timber resource base, large scale cultivation of this species has to be enhanced through introduction to other suitable ecoclimatic conditions of the world. The wood quality of S. macrophylla introduced at Olavakkode research range at Dhoni, Palakkad in Kerala, south India were evaluated. Five trees were randomly selected from the research plot of the Kerala Forest Department and standard tests of wood physical, mechanical and anatomical properties were conducted on green, air-dry and oven-dry specimens. Results of the study indicated that the Swietenia macrophylla logs had a volume of 0.17 m3 and bark thickness was 2.9 ± 2.1 mm. Heartwood percentage was 89 ± 3 and the logs had sawn wood recovery of 54%. Most of the wood physical and anatomical properties varied along the radial directions from pith to periphery. Physico-mechanical properties were correlated with anatomical properties. Most of the wood quality parameters were comparable to teak. Hence, the species has tremendous potential for afforestation in the state. As wood physical, anatomical and mechanical properties of a timber species determine quality; its evaluation is a prerequisite for the establishment of commercial plantations of this species having high potential for various end uses.

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