Microscopy: Technical Information Sheet


Australian Red-Cedar Cedrela toona Roxb. ex Rottler & Willd. Meliaceae

Other Common Names: Toon (India), Thitkado (Burma), Youhom (Thailand), Soeren (Indonesia), Epi, Kapere (Papua-New Guinea).

Distribution: India and Burma as well as scattered in evergreen and moist, mixed deciduous forests throughout Southeast Asia including Australia.

The Tree: May attain a height of 120 ft with a clear bole to 60 ft; trunk diameters up to 60 in., sometimes buttressed and fluted. Size and other characteristics vary with species.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood light brick red when first exposed, aging to a rich reddish brown; sapwood pinkish, grayish white, or yellow brown, rather sharply defined. Texture rather coarse and uneven; lustrous; grain generally straight to somewhat interlocked; fragrant cedary odor, pronounced when fresh, characteristic acrid taste.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) averaging about 0.42; air-dry density 32 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of
Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 Psi) (Psi)
Green (31) 8,290 1,250 4,290
15% 11,895 1,550 6,485
Green (83) 5,700 1,010 2,790
12% 10,600 1,300 3,480

Janka side hardness ranges from 550 lb to 1,035 lb for dry material. Forest Products Laboratory toughness for green plantation-grown wood 165 in.-lb (2-cm specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: Somewhat refractory in drying characteristics, prone to warp and collapse. Kiln schedule T10-D4S is suggested for 4/4 stock and T8-D3S for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 3.8%; tangential 6.3%; volumetric 10.8%.

Working Properties: The timber works well though there is some gumming of cutters, dresses smoothly; easy to nail, screw, and glue.

Durability: Heartwood is moderately durable but vulnerable to termite and borer attack.

Preservation: Reported to be treatable without a great deal of difficulty.

Uses: Joinery, furniture and cabinetwork, decorative veneers, racing boats, musical instruments, and patternmaking.

 Additional Reading: (11), (31), (47), (83)

11. Desch, H. E. 1941-54. Manual of Malayan timbers. Malayan Forest Records No. 15.2 vol.

31. Kryn, J. M. 1954. information Leaflet Foreign Woods. Toon, Burma Cedar, Moulmein Cedar, Thitkado, Cedrela toona Roxb.; Cedrela serrata Royle; and Australia Red Cedar, Cedrela toona Roxb. var. Australis C.DC., Family Meliaceae. Rep. No. 1970, U.S. For. Prod. Lab., Madison, Wis.

47. Pearson, R. S., and H. P. Brown. 1932. Commercial timbers of India. Gov. of India Central Publ. Br., Calcutta.

83. Youngs, R. L. 1960. Physical, mechanical, and other properties of five Hawaii woods. USDA For. Serv. Rep. No. 2191. For. Prod. Lab., Madison, Wis.

Taken from: Chudnoff, Martin. 1984. Tropical Timbers of the World. USDA Forest Service, Agriculture Handbook Number 607.