Mango (Mangifera indica)

Mango (Mangifera indica)

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Common Name(s): Mango, Hawaiian Mango

Scientific Name: Mangifera indica

Distribution: Tropical Asia and Oceania

Tree Size: 80-100 ft (24-30 m) tall, 3-4 ft (1-1.2 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 42 lbs/ft3 (675 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .52, .68

Janka Hardness: 1,070 lbf (4,780 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 12,830 lbf/in2 (88.5 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,672,000 lbf/in2 (11.53 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 7,240 lbf/in2 (49.9 MPa)

Shrinkage:Radial: 3.6%, Tangential: 5.5%, Volumetric: 8.9%, T/R Ratio: 1.5

Color/Appearance: Because of the spalting that is commonly present, the wood can be a kaleidoscope of colors. Under normal circumstances, heartwood is a golden brown, while other colors such as yellow and streaks of pink and/or black can also occur. Paler sapwood is not always clearly defined. Curly or mottled grain patterns are also common.

Grain/Texture: Grain can be straight or interlocked. With a medium to coarse texture and good natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; large to very large pores in no specific arrangement; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; tyloses and heartwood deposits occasionally present; growth rings may be distinct due to the presence of marginal parenchyma; narrow rays barely visible without lens, spacing normal to fairly close; parenchyma may be banded (marginal), paratracheal parenchyma vasicentric, aliform (lozenge), and confluent.

Rot Resistance: Mango is rated anywhere from moderately durable to perishable. However, Mango is also susceptible to both fungal and insect attack.

Workability: If interlocked or wild grain is present, tearout is common when machining. Reaction wood may also be present, which can shift as it is being sawed, potentially causing binding on the blade. Has a fairly high silica content, and will readily dull cutting edges. Glues and finishes well.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Mango has been reported to cause skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Steady availability from specialty sources, usually from Hawaii, though Asian sources are also common. Mango is sold in board and slab form, as well as craft and instrument blanks. Prices for unfigured boards are in the moderate range for an imported lumber, and it is usually less expensive than Koa, another popular Hawaiian hardwood. Figured boards with curly figure, spalting, and/or vivid coloration are much more expensive.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is reported by the IUCN as being data deficient. It was formerly listed on the Red List as vulnerable.

Common Uses: Furniture, ukuleles, veneer, plywood, turned objects, and flooring.

Comments: Known much more widely for its fruit, Mango trees also yield beautiful and valuable lumber. The wood is considered very eco-friendly, as some Mango plantations harvest the trees for lumber after they have completed their useful fruit-bearing lifespan.

Related Species:

None available.

Related Articles:

Scans/Pictures: As you can see below, Mango gets considerably darker when a finish has been applied. The piece below is an example of a curly, spalted piece of Mango.

Mango (sanded)

Mango (sanded)

Mango (sealed)

Mango (sealed)

Mango (endgrain 10x)

Mango (endgrain 10x)

Mango (bookmatched)

Mango (bookmatched, with Purpleheart and Padauk)

  • Jeff

    Does anybody know how long it takes to dry 4/4 Mango or Koa in a Vacuume Kiln

    • Rajneesh Tyagi

      It will take 6-7 days.

      Regards
      Rajneesh

  • ejmeier

    Might have some issues while sanding, but finished furniture shouldn’t be a problem.

  • Karoli

    how long does it take to air dry

  • Tracy

    Is this wood hard enough to work well for book shelves holding lots of books? I’m looking at an expensive bookcase with mango shelves and I’m hoping they will not sag like the shelves I currently have. Is there a janka hardness number i should be looking for?

    • ejmeier

      Janka hardness won’t tell you much. You should be looking at Modulus of Elasticity (MOE).

      But beyond that, a lot will depend on how the actual shelves are made — i.e., if they are supported in the back, if they have reinforcement on the front edge, etc.

  • Ellen

    Is this wood one that can be used with food? Such as a salad bowl.

    • Andrés Boza

      The hard and dense mango wood is perfect for making kitchen accessories like chopping boards, serving trays, bowls, salad servers, etc.

  • MangoWood

    Mango wood is durable and can last for years and years. If you want to know more about mango wood furniture and it’s use you can visit http://unwind.com/blog/design-your-ekornes-stressless-furniture-online/

  • Mango Wood Benefit

    This is an interesting read. Recent study shows that we can use mango wood for furniture, its a hardwood. Though its a hardwood it is considered one of the softest hardwood. Given the fact that it is sustainable as well. To know more about mango wood its features and uses, visit http://thebasicwoodworking.com/what-is-mango-wood-features-and-uses/

  • Andrés Boza

    Mango wood is highly water-resistant and as such it’s good for outdoor wood projects.

  • Clint Lefcourt
  • Lynn Williams-Ratnam

    My mango furniture is too dark. Can I sand it and stain light oak to lighten it?

    • ejmeier

      It’s possible, but potentially a LOT of elbow grease. Some people like refinishing furniture. For me, it’s almost as easy just to build the thing over from scratch! To each their own I guess.

      • Lynn Williams-Ratnam

        Crikey, build furniture. Am not that skilled, but changed my well made pine bedroom suite look like liked oak. As you say, a of of elbow grease, but successful. Maybe I will hire a sander. Can you recommend a product/oil/stain? Thanks for advice.

        • Lynn Williams-Ratnam

          Limed oak.

        • ejmeier

          If you sand it thoroughly down to raw wood, Mango should stain pretty well with most products. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t really have the same type of porous growth rings as oak, so you can’t quite compare color samples of the darker growth rings that oak might get when you compare stain colors.

  • James Dougherty

    To Lynn. I am not a professional wood worker but do work with wood a lot. Generally, if there is a varnish, especially if it is a thick outdoor varnish, I would first use a a brush on stripper. Wear chemical resistant gloves or at least dish washer gloves (new, no holes). You don’t want to get it on your skin. Have a bucket of water beside you in case you do. Wear eye protection. Then use, or skip the stripper and start with 80 grit until you get to the natural color, then go to 120 or 150 then 250 grit. Because it will be a lot of sanding I would use a rotory sander until I was at the final stage with 250 which I would do by hand, with the grain. I would use no stain, and if it was going to be indoors I would use a water based varnish. For various woods I have used it on, it keeps the wood close to the original color where as oil based always makes it darker. It is also easier to apply, correct errors and much easier to clean up. Buy a good brush made specifically for water based varnish.

  • I recently got a mango wood desk, and was wondering if it was durable enough to hold a c-clamp dual monitor stand. It would likely be holding about 30 pounds; the desk is about 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4a2af17dce5b36d6ffa9ada3489fb4e109ebf92056d765aaef0da756833a7c91.jpg

    https://www.westelm.com/weimgs/ab/images/wcm/products/201736/0047/industrial-modular-desk-set-with-file-cabinet-drawers-c.jpg

    • Paul van Driel

      No problem.

  • Patrick LK

    I live in the Florida Keys and recently had to cut down a Mango tree on my property that unfortunately was growing above a drainage line. I saved the main trunk and would like to dry and season the wood but other than beginning by stripping off all the bark have no idea how to proceed. Any suggestions?

    • Paul van Driel

      Hi Patrick, your biggest problem is to keep termites and bugs away from your trunk. So, keep the trunk well of the ground and allow air to flow around it. Termites and bugs come as long as the wood is wet ( cellulose smell) so try to keep it under a roof or in a barn. Check it so now and then for termites and bugs.
      You can let the trunk dry for years that way if you have the time and patience for it. It can, however, build up tensions in the trunk which could be tricky when re-sawing.

      At some point you have to saw up the trunk in slabs, you can do that when it is freshly cut or after the trunk has dried for a longer time. I suggest you have slabs sawn of about 2 1/4″ thickness each. Drying time for 2″ thick slabs is about 2 years (1″ a year). Use sticks to separate the slabs and keep them straight. To avoid twist and bending I use strong truck winch straps every 3′ or so around the pile of slabs. It works great. Check them every 3 months and tidy them when needed.

      I’m using a lot of mango wood here in Thailand and get regularly trunks and trees from around my area. It is beautiful wood and very rewarding to work with. Generally lots of sanding (to avoid tear out on wild grain etc.) needed to get a nice result, but it’s worth it.

      • Patrick LK

        Hello Paul, thanks very much for your response to my question re Mango wood. I’m much obliged for your willingness to share your knowledge and expertise. I will proceed with your recommernded method and while I’m at it mention that I also have a nice section of the trunk of a Mangrove tree which has been drying since 2003. I debarked it several days after it was cut and it’s been inside since then so should be more than ready to work with. After Hurricane Wilma in 2005 I had to take out a sour orange tree that died and I still have a nice piece of that which is as about as seasoned as it can get without a kiln. I read that in Cuba they use it to make fence posts and baseball bats. To top it all off, this last September 10th, Hurricane Irma took out a lot of trees here in Key West, many of which were very large Mahogany trees. I have a nice section of Mahogany trunk and there are still some huge pieces out by the side of the road here and there around town. The only problem is that they are extremely heavy! (That and limited space for storage). I hate to think that it’s all destined for the wood chipper though, so intend to figure out a way to salvage some more pieces. I have a nice little collection of lumber to work on now and some fundamental knowledge to guide me in my efforts. Thanks again, Patrick

  • Nia Carter

    Is mango wood suitable for use as a cutting board – for food?

    • Harry

      Hi Nia, yes it is. You can season the board with several coats of vegetable oil to make it easier to clean. I have severa mango chopping boards from Scumble Goosie!

      Harry