Indigenous to the southern region of Africa, the Mopane tree is known for its butterfly-shaped leaves — leaves which are initially a bright green color, later transforming into a cache of reds, oranges, and yellows, in the autumn season. The heartwood it produces is medium to darker brown in color, with a golden to reddish tint, often decorated with black streaks. It is very dense and extremely durable. It is also very resistance to infestation, which has seen it used for centuries in its native region in a variety of outdoor uses.
The wood is considered very difficult to work, as — in addition to its great density — its grain patterns are usually interlocked. It turns smoothly and (as would be expected) holds details very well, making it popular with turners and carvers who know of it.
We stock roots, but the details we provide are for the timber.
Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses: Flooring, furniture, musical instruments, turned objects, carvings, fuelwood/charcoal, fencing, exterior construction and other outdoor utility applications.
Comments: Despite being one of the most dense, stable and durable woods on the planet, Mopane remains one of Africa’s best-kept secrets. It has been used for centuries there for carved woodwind instruments, and is considered to have excellent tonal properties, similar to African Blackwood.
Large boards are rare and difficult to obtain; trees tend to branch out to great widths, yielding irregular-shaped, trunks, and at full maturity