Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)

Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)

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Common Name(s): Honey Mesquite

Scientific Name: Prosopis glandulosa

Distribution: Southwestern North America

Tree Size: 20-30 ft (6-9 m) tall, 8-16 in (20-40 cm) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 51 lbs/ft3 (820 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .70, .82

Janka Hardness: 2,340 lbf (10,410 N)

Modulus of Rupture: No data available*

Elastic Modulus: No data available*

Crushing Strength: No data available*

*Strength properties most likely very similar to Prosopis juliflora

Shrinkage: Radial: 1.6%, Tangential: 3.2%, Volumetric: 4.8%, T/R Ratio: 2.0

Color/Appearance: Heartwood tends to be a reddish brown, which darkens with age. Sapwood is yellow in color, and tends to be thin.

Grain/Texture: Honey Mesquite has a medium to coarse texture and open pores, with a slight natural luster. Clear portions of the trunk tend to have straight or wavy grain: though knots, defects, and other irregularities are common.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous (or semi-ring-porous); large pores in no specific arrangement, few to moderately numerous; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; amber-colored deposits occasionally present; growth rings indistinct (or distinct due to marginal parenchyma); medium to large rays may be just barely visible without lens, normal spacing; parenchyma vasicentric, lozenge, and confluent.

Rot Resistance: Honey Mesquite is considered very durable regarding decay resistance.

Workability: Working properties are largely dictated by the quality of the wood itself. Mesquite that is clear and free from defects is easy to work with hand and machine tools, but irregular grain or knots can be challenging. Glues, turns, and finishes well.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Woods in the Prosopis genus have been reported to cause skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Mesquite only tends to be available in small sizes, or as large irregular slabs. Larger boards free from defects are uncommon. Prices for Honey Mesquite are in the upper range for a domestic hardwood.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Fence posts, flooring, turned objects, cabinetry, and furniture.

Comments: Considered by some to be an invasive species, Mesquite is known to produce great firewood with a high thermal value. Honey Mesquite is prized by segmented woodturners and others for its exceptional stability. Honey Mesquite exhibits very little movement or expansion/contraction due to environmental changes in humidity.

Related Species:

Scans/Pictures:

Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)

Honey Mesquite (sanded)

Honey Mesquite (sealed)

Honey Mesquite (sealed)

Honey Mesquite (endgrain)

Honey Mesquite (endgrain)

Honey Mesquite (endgrain 10x)

Honey Mesquite (endgrain 10x)

  • bill

    Anyone who has worked with mesquite and took the time to sniff it knows that it does have a certain smell to it. I can’t really describe it but I would know it if I smelled it.

  • Lumber Lady

    These pictures don’t do Honey Mesquite justice. It is an extremely beautiful wood with wild and unpredictable grain patterns. It’s very hard and stable. Visit my website to see some of the beauty of this hidden treasure. http://www.MesquiteTREE.org

  • Brian

    I used this wood to turn a bowl and it is very hard! Good dense wood but if you turn it, plan on sharpening a few times. Beautiful wood though and polishes up nice.

  • Duane Keck

    What do you know about the differences between the species of glandulosa and julifora in the Prosopis genus??.

    • Colton Hardy

      I don’t know about the wood, but the trees themselves are different in the fact that honey mesquite has approximately 1 inch thorns on it

  • Lumber Lady

    These pictures don’t do Honey
    Mesquite justice. It is an extremely beautiful wood with wild and
    unpredictable grain patterns. It’s very hard and stable. Visit my
    website to see some of the beauty of this hidden treasure. http://www.MesquiteTREE.org

  • It is also a very popular wood for bbq and grilling in Texas.