Timber and Related Products

Samba (Obeche)
Wood type Hardwood
Environmental Not listed in CITES. Believed available from well-managed sources. Check certification status with suppliers.
Distribution Obeche is found in most of the countries of West Africa, especially Nigeria, Ghana, the Ivory Coast and the Cameroons.
The Tree A large forest tree, 45m or more high with extensive sharp buttresses, rising in some trees 6m or more up the trunk. Diameter above the buttresses may be nearly 1.5m.
The Timber The timber is creamy-white to pale yellow in colour with little or no distinction between the sapwood and heartwood; the former however, may be up to 150mm wide. It is fairly soft, but firm and fine and even in texture; the grain is often interlocked, giving a faintly striped appearance on quarter-sawn surfaces, otherwise there is seldom any decorative figure. The timber is light in weight, averaging about 390 kg/m3 when dried. Brittle-heart is common in large logs.
Drying The timber dries rapidly and well and with little tendency to warp or shake. The timber is liable to attack by staining fungi and should be piled in stick immediately after conversion.
Strength Bearing in mind the light weight of the timber, obeche has good strength properties and, when compared with European redwood, is only about 15 per cent less in maximum bending strength
(modulus of rupture); in stiffness it is not so good, being about 50 per cent less than redwood.
Working Qualities Good - Good
Durability Not durable
Treatability Difficult
(mean, Kg/m³)
Texture Medium
Availability Regular
Price Low to medium
Chemical Properties Sapwood is susceptible to attack by powderpost beetles (Lyctidae and Bostrychidae)
Use(s) Interior joinery, Furniture, Plywood
Colour(s) White/cream