A very large tree with cylindrical bole and small or no buttresses. Grows to a height of 45m or more and a diameter at breast height of 10m or slightly more.
The Sapwood is pale yellow or whitish, the heartwood pinkish when freshly cut, darkening to typical mahogany colour of reddish-brown. Sapele is characterised by a marked and regular stripe, particularly pronounced on quarter-sawn surfaces. It is fairly close textured, and the grain is interlocked. It is harder and heavier than African mahogany. Weighing about 640 kg/m3 when dried.
The timber dries rapidly with a marked tendency to distort. Quarter-sawn material is less liable to degrade in drying.
Works fairly well with hand and machine tools, but the inter-locked grain is often troublesome in planning and moulding. It takes screws and nails well, glues satisfactorily, stains readily, and takes an excellent polish.
Sapele is much harder then African or American mahogany, and in resistance to indentation, bending strength, stiffness, and resistance to shock loads.
Joinery – Exterior, Joinery – Interior, Furniture, Flooring
Reddish-Brown (Typical mahogany colour)