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Exotic wood species in Guatemala’s tropical forest

The Guatemalan tropical forest situated in the Mayan Biosphere Reserve in the north of the country has a size of 21,000 km². The forest community and  organizations develop a sustainable and protected forest.

The forest has an abundant and unique selection of exotic species, while most are unknown species in the market. The market is currently concentrated on two or three species: Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), Cedar (Swietenia macrophylla) and Santamaria (Calophyllum brasiliense).

However, also the “unknown” species can have very good and special mechanical properties. For Pucte (Bucida buceras), Manchiche (Lonchocarpus castilloi) and Amapola (Pseudobombax ellipticum), we tested it. For more information you can read the article:

Gabriela M. Valle Tager • Jens U. Hartig • José Manuel Cabrero • Peer Haller: Selected mechanical properties of four Central American wood species. European Journal of Wood and Wood Products 72(5):699-702, Springer, 2014, doi:10.1007/s00107-014-0818-4

The main problem using only a small number of species is promoting non-natural forests, in the worst case monocultures, making it hard for the communities and companies to work sustainable. So, next time you decide to prepare a unique piece of wood for your house, ask which other species are available. Below you find some of the exotic species available with legal allowance and sustainable forest management. With the right advisers you can have an unique piece in your home. Thank you, all the best for you!

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