The light brown sapwood of Utile is clearly differentiated from the heartwood. When newly cut, the heartwood is pinkish-brown, but it darkens to a deep red-brown on exposure. The grain is typically interlocked with a medium texture. Quarter sawn surfaces can display irregular wide stripe or ribbon figure. Similar in colour and appearance to Sapele, Utile is more durable and often used for external joinery such as windows and doors.
Assie, Abebay, Sipo, Efuodwe, Kisi-Kosi, Liboyo, Afau-Konkonti,
The heartwood of Utile is durable and resistant to decay, whereas the sapwood is less so. Highly resistant to preservative treatment. Very good exterior performer. Dense and works well.
The drying and seasoning of Utile is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Utile - If dried at a moderate rate, impact on the grade and quality of the wood is minimal, but if it is dried too quickly twisting can occur. It exhibits medium movement in service. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.
Utile is a dense wood with a high crushing strength, medium bending strength, low stiffness and resistance to shock loads and a poor steam-bending rating. It works well with machine and hand tools and has a tolerable blunting effect on cutters and tools. Utile saws, glues, turns, mortices, carves, nails, screws and stains well. The wood can be brought to an excellent polished finish, once grain filled.
Furniture and cabinetmaking, turnery, interior and exterior joinery, boatbuilding, musical instruments, counter tops, kitchen cabinets, office furniture, window frames and sports goods. Utile is also sliced for decorative veneers and rotary-cut for plywood.
Considered vulnerable by The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (this was last assessed in 1998 and considerable changes in awareness and more stringent forestry controls may have had an impact and the results of the latest assessment is due soon) for more information and latest updates please visit http://www.iucnredlist.org and type in the botanical name of the species into the search box. It should also be noted that one unintentional shortcoming of the Red List is that it only considers the risk of extinction; broader issues dealing with habitat destruction or deforestation are not considered. Also, it does not necessarily take into account the maturity of the trees (i.e., centuries-old trees are cut down, and subsequently replanted with saplings) Therefore we hope that further assessments will consider this long term commitment to re-growth.
The reason Utile is at risk is due to a number of factors; this widespread species is heavily exploited throughout its range. Genetic erosion caused by the depletion of mature individuals from sub-populations has taken place in most countries. Local over cutting is also common in parts of West Africa. Growth rates are amongst the slowest in the genus and the seeds and seedlings suffer high mortality rates because of insect attack.
Wood Worker's Thoughts:
Stress fractures' can be present. But a nice timber to work with.