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Exotic Hardwood: Albizia

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011

Exotic Hardwood AlbiziaOne renewable source of wood flooring comes from the Albizia tree. Albizia wood can grow about 70 feet tall within the first four years of growth, and have a circumference of nearly four feet; many people refer to this tree as the “Miracle Tree."

After the tree is harvested for its wood, the Albizia tree quickly displays many new shoots to begin the cycle of growth anew. It spreads by producing seed pods that ride the wind into clearings and quickly take root. A typical cycle of growth when cultivated on plantations is an eight-year cycle. The Albizia tree demands a lot of light while growing into a mature tree. Other names that this tree goes by include Frywood, Koko, Woman's tongues Tree, Flea Tree, Lebbek Tree, and Lebbeck.

Although native to southern Asia, Albizia wood can be found as a naturalized species in Hawaii, the Philippines, the Pacific Islands, and Sri Lanka. It is light in weight, and Albizia wood is very pale-colored. The wood itself has a soft texture, with a straight, interlocking grain.

Albizia can be tough to saw through, and will need to be property treated if this is the wood you choose for your floor. As it is a soft wood, your best bet would be to use this wood in lesser-trafficked areas. The density of Albizia wood can range from 0.55-0.66 g/cm3 or higher. The bark is a light gray color on the outside, and pink on the inside.

In addition to being used as a flooring product, Albizia wood is also used to make furniture. In the humid, tropical regions, it is used as fire fuel and charcoal. In North and South America, many people like to grow the Albizia tree for its shade. The tree is also grown for medicine and environmental management, as well. Many people use this kind of wood for pulpwood, fiberboard, and particle board. Albizia wood can also be used for crates, boxes, furniture, and matches. Albizia trees are very shallow-rooted and are easily ripped from the ground should they fall prey to a typhoon or hurricane.