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General Description
Tree & Wood Descriptions for: Acacia koa

Product Sources

Some material from this species is reported to be available from environmentally responsible sources.

Supplies of Koa are reported to be available on the U.S. market in the form of lumber and veneers. Prices are reported to be in the high range.

Tree Data

The trees are reported to be very hardy and can survive under almost any environmental condition. Under optimum growing conditions the trees are reported to reach 80 to 100 feet (24 to 30 m) in height, with trunk diameters of 36 to 48 inches (90 to 120 cm).

Sapwood Color

The sapwood is pale brown in color, and is clearly demarcated from the heartwood.

Heartwood Color

The distinct heartwood varies in color from tree to tree. It ranges from pale blond or golden brown to a deep chocolate color, but the most common color is reported to be reddish brown. The wood yellows quickly in sunlight, which adversely affects its exterior performance.


The wavy and curly grain is moderate to severely interlocked. The wood usually has light and dark bands in the growth rings. The grain produces various attractive patterns, such as fiddleback and rainbow.


The texture is moderately coarse.


Wood surface is described as highly lustrous.


There is no distinct odor or taste.

Movement in Service

Seasoned wood is reported to be stable, and retains its shape well in use.

Natural Durability

The wood is not resistant to decay and is reported to be highly susceptible to attack by the subterranean and dry wood termites.

Resistance to Impregnation

The wood is very resistant to impregnation.

Strength Properties

Bending strength in the air-dry condition (about 12 percent moisture content) is fairly high. Strength in compression parallel to grain is also fairly high. Weight and density are high.


The wood is popular for the manufacture of musical instruments because of its high resonant properties. Hawaiian ukeleles are reported to be made exclusively from koa wood. Trees that grow at high, exposed areas are reported to produce the best figured wood, and the veneer form of Koa is highly valued for fine furniture because of its fiddleback figure and high finish it takes. Koa wood is reported to be comparable to that of Black walnut (Juglans nigra ).