What Type of Tree Is Mahogany Wood?

Mahogany, one of the world's most treasured woods, comes from the mahogany tree.

Types

Many people think of mahogany as one of the best dark hardwoods.

There are various types of mahogany trees, including the Cuban and Honduras mahogany. The local name of the mahogany tree in Central America is the caoba. It is the national tree of both Belize and the Dominican Republic.

History

For most of the 20th century, mahogany trees were cut down for use of their much-desired wood until near the point of extinction. These trees are now listed as endangered, so they are protected. It's name comes from an American Indian word.

Features

Mahogany trees can grow to more than 150 feet in height with trunks that can reach up to 6 feet in diameter. The tree has rough bark that can range from gray to a reddish-brown.

Uses

Mahogany wood was often used to make furniture, drums and guitars. When first cut, the wood can range from a yellow to pinkish color but changes to a rich red or brown when it ages.

Function

Mahogany is an easy wood to work with. It is easy to use with nails and screws, polishes well, responds well to tools and carves well.

About the Author

David Harris is a writer living in Portland, Ore. He currently is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Spectrum Culture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.