Common Name(s): Cucumbertree, Cucumber Magnolia
Scientific Name: Magnolia acuminata
Distribution: Eastern United States
Tree Size: 50-80 ft (15-24 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 33 lbs/ft3 (530 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .44, .53
Janka Hardness: 700 lbf (3,110 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 12,300 lbf/in2 (84.8 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 1,820,000 lbf/in2 (12.55 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 6,310 lbf/in2 (43.5 MPa)
Shrinkage: Radial: 5.2%, Tangential: 8.8%, Volumetric: 13.6%, T/R Ratio: 1.7
Color/Appearance: Very wide sapwood is a creamy white to grayish color. Comparatively narrow heartwood color ranges from a medium to dark brown, sometimes with green, purple or black streaks.
Grain/Texture: Grain is straight, with a fine, uniform texture. Moderate natural luster.
Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; small pores in no specific arrangement; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; growth rings distinct; rays faintly visible without lens; parenchyma banded (marginal).
Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable to perishable regarding decay resistance, and also susceptible to insect attack.
Workability: Generally easy to work with both hand and machine tools. Turns, glues, stains, and finishes well.
Odor: No characteristic odor.
Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, species in the Magnolia genus have been reported to cause asthma-like symptoms and runny nose. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.
Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses: Veneer, plywood, interior trim, upholstered furniture frames, and general utility wood.
Comments: So named because the tree’s unripe fruit is green and resembles small cucumbers. Cucumbertree is actually related to other species of Magnolia, and the woods within the genus can’t be reliably separated visually. Additionally, Magnolia species are very difficult to tell apart from Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), and typically microscopic examination is necessary to distinguish the two genera.