Lesser known timber species – Pucté/Jucaro


Photo: Municipality of Rotterdam 

Lesser known timber species (LKTS) are globally underutilized species of timber. LKTS are emerging more than ever as a major challenge but also an opportunity for the timber industry.  Using certified sustainable LKTS helps take the supply stress off more widely used timber species and makes certification more economically viable. They enable the sector to diversify its timber and wood products offer and at the same time help it meet sustainability imperative-driven market regulatory requirements.   

In this edition we introduce the LKTS Pucté / Jucaro (Terminalia buceras). The tree is found from Mexico to the north of the South American continent and in the Caribbean. It can grow to 30m tall, with a trunk diameter of up to 1.15m. The heartwood ranges from a pale reddish brown to dark brown, often with an olive hue. Depending on the darkness of the heartwood, the pale yellowish-brown sapwood may or may not be clearly demarcated. The grain is fine to medium texture, with flat sawn surfaces commonly having a slightly wavy appearance. Color and grain become more pronounced when finish is applied, and the timber is likened in looks to Ipe and Cumaru. The above picture shows the application of Pucté as a boardwalk in Rotterdam, as part of the Cities4forests project.

The wood is susceptible to marine borers, but otherwise very durable and termite-resistant. It can be challenging to machine and glue due to its density, oil content, and irregular grain, but it has a wide range of applications. It is used for decking, flooring, exterior furniture, posts, piles, and other heavy construction products.

Pucté is not CITES appendix-listed or included on the IUCN Red List and, other than the usual cautions related to wood dust, no health hazards have been identified in working with the species.

Technical details

  • Average Dried Weight: 990 kg/m3 (61.9 lbs/ft3)
  • Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .85, .99
  • Janka Hardness: 13,080 N (2,940 lbf)
  • Modulus of Rupture: 146.6 MPa (21,260 lbf/in2)
  • Elastic Modulus: 16.42 GPa (2,381,000 lbf/in2)
  • Crushing Strength: 74.3 MPa (10,770 lbf/in2)
  • Shrinkage: Radial: 4.2%, Tangential: 9.2%

 Source: https://www.wood-database.com/jucaro/