Timber and Related Products

Sipo (Utile)
Wood type Hardwood
Environmental Not listed in CITES. Believed available from well-managed sources. Check certification status with suppliers.
Distribution Utile has a wide natural distribution in tropical Africa. It occurs in the Ivory Coast, in the Cameroons, and in Liberia, Gabon and Uganda. The tree grows chiefly in the moist, deciduous high forest.
The Tree The tree may be up to 45m tall and 2m in diameter above the base. The bole is straight, cylindrical, and free of buttresses, and may be 21m to 24m long.
The Timber The heartwood and sapwood are distinct; the heartwood is pale pink when freshly cut, darkening on exposure to reddish-brown. It closely resembles the related sapele, both in appearance and properties, but is more open in texture due to the larger pores, and generally lacks the cedar-like odour of sapele. The interlocked grain produces a broad ribbon-stripe, often wider and more irregular than that of sapele. It weighs about 660 kg/m3 when dried.
Drying Utile dries moderately slowly with a distinct tendency for distortion in the form of twist to occur, and original shakes to extend. In general however, distortion is not severe.
Strength Its strength properties are similar to those of American mahogany.
Working Qualities Medium - Medium
Durability Moderately durable
Treatability Extremely difficult
Moisture
Movement
Medium
Density
(mean, Kg/m³)
660
Texture Medium
Availability Regular
Price Medium
Use(s) Exterior joinery, Interior joinery, Furniture
Colour(s) Reddish brown