07.04.2021. Kosipo (Entandrophragma candollei Harms) or West African Cedar is a large tree growing in West Africa and the Congo Basin, reaching about 50 m in height. It grows a straight and cylindrical bole of more than 2 m in diameter.
© Fauna and flora of Liberia
Younger trees are covered with a smooth greyish bark which changes to scaly in older ones.
The bole is often buttressed up to 3 meters from the ground. The canopy is thick and dark. The bark is used in traditional medicine particularly as an anodyne and for snake bites.
Partial view of Kosipo tree, Cameroon © KrystjanM
Trees can become very old; for the largest specimens ages of up to nearly 1’000 years have been suggested.
The heartwood is dull brown to dark purplish brown, slightly darkening upon exposure; it is distinctly demarcated from the 4 - 8cm wide band of greyish white to pale brown sapwood. The grain is straight to slightly interlocked; the texture coarse and even.
The wood saws fairly easily although it requires some power, and it works easily with both hand and machine tools. It usually contains silica (up to 0.5%) and has moderate blunting effects on cutting edges; stellite-tipped saw teeth and tungsten-carbide cutting edges are recommended. In planing and moulding operations a 15 - 20° cutting angle is recommended, especially when interlocked grain is present.
It can be finished to a nice surface, but the use of a filler may be required. The wood is not liable to splitting on nailing and screwing, and has good holding properties. The gluing, staining and polishing properties are good when a filler is used.
Kosipo is renowned for its esthetic qualities and stability. Its reddish colour, with dark, violet hues, makes it one of the species of choice for luxury furniture. Kosipo is also used in laminated scantlings, in interior and exterior joinery (shingles, panelling, cladding), for sliced veneer and plywood, flooring, stairs (interior), light framework.
To find out more:
Tropical Timber Atlas, p. 495: https://bit.ly/IHC-Publications
All photos © INTERHOLCO except where otherwise indicated.
INTERHOLCO offers Sustainable Hardwood 'Made in Africa' as a responsible solution to promote better living conditions (construction with wood), reduce climate change, and increase social justice. As FSC-certified producer specialized in producing and trading logs, sawn timber, glued laminated scantlings and other products, INTERHOLCO manages the entire chain, from forest to customers since 1962. Harvesting wood selectively, INTERHOLCO protects 1.1 million hectares of natural forest from permanent conversion to agricultural land, giving 16’000 local inhabitants access to quality basic services and keeping the habitat of thousands of gorillas and elephants.
Communications contact INTERHOLCO
Tullia Baldassarri Höger von Högersthal
INTERHOLCO AG, Schutzengelstr. 36, 6340 Baar, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 (0)41 767 03 82