Okume wood (also ocume) is native to Central Africa, mainly from countries like Gabon or Equatorial Guinea. At the bottom, it is a soft wood, very regular in appearance thanks to its smooth texture and straight grain, and light brown color.

In these countries, okume wood exports represent between 80% and 90% of wood exports, thus being the main species.

The tree can reach 300 years, 2.5 meters in diameter and up to 60 in height. However, this is not frequent, as the species is constantly exploited. Although it is not considered risky, since in Gabon exists in large numbers, the speed with which the resource is exploited elsewhere is worrying. There are cultures dedicated to the exploitation of this wood in many African countries. However, demand and exports are greater than this production.

Its scientific name is Aucoumea klaineana.

Characteristics of Okume wood

Color: Heartwood between brown and light pink to light gray. The sapwood is lighter and paler in color.

Fiber: Straight or interlaced.

Grain: Good.

Density: It is a light wood with an average density of 440 kg / m3 at 12% humidity.

Toughness: It is a soft with 1.6 in the Monnin test.

Durability: Moderate. It is susceptible to insect attack.

Dimensional stability: Stable.

  • Volumetric contraction coefficient: 0.33% slightly edgy wood.

Mechanical properties:

  • Compressive strength: 370 kg / cmtwo
  • Static flexural strength: 630 kg / cmtwo
  • Modulus of elasticity: 98,800 kg / cmtwo

Impregnation: Heart slightly impregnable.


  • Sawn. Difficulties to repel
  • Drying. Fast, with little risk of deformation.
  • Brushed. No problem, except in cases of interlaced fiber.
  • Glued. Smoothly.
  • Nailed and screwed. Smoothly.
  • Finish. Smoothly.

Uses of Okume wood

okume wood
  • Decorative veneer Y plywood boards. It is the main and very prominent use of okume wood. In fact, it is highly valued for that use.
  • Interior carpentry. Friezes, frames, baseboards …
  • Furniture.
  • Packing
  • Pleasure boats.

It is used in some areas as a medicinal plant.