Tropical Timber Trends - New Species Profile

Aguano Masha from Peru.

Machaerium Indudatum

0.73 density

7.47% shrinkage, very low for a species of this density (red oak is double)

Dark brown heartwood with white creamy sapwood

This dark hardwood closely resembles American Walnut. But with a 0.73 density it is about 40% heavier and very durable outside. It has good working properties and is stable. Related to Bolivian Rosewood, both are in the Machaerium family. It has a wide range of uses, from interior flooring and furniture to outside decking and siding. Based on how it looks, with the density and affordable price it appears to have a lot of potential for flooring. Slabs can be supplied up to 48 inches wide with 20 to 30 inch widths being standard sizes.

This wood is relatively unknown in North America. Supply in North America is limited at the moment, but good volumes of supply are available in Peru. There are several companies in Canada and the US that will be importing this species in the next few months.

Keep an eye on this species over the next year or two. The combination of how it looks, with excellent working properties and reasonable price range along with potentially large supply means this could rapidly gain market attention. I would also expect prices to rise as it gains popularity, but to remain well below American Walnut pricing.


Hi @Marv_Vandermeer this species Aguano Masha looks gorgeous! How prevalent is it in Peru? And how and by whom is it harvested? I presume such species are part of the tropical rain forest there and are not “sustainably” grown. So is there some regulation on the board feet/ cubic meters harvested per month or year? Thank you!


There seems to be quite a bit of it in some areas. The company that has offered it is FSC certified, which requires a lot of regulation. Sustainability does not seem to be an issue. And a harvesting permit requires an inspection of the area to be harvested and only trees over a certain size can be cut and there are limits on how many m3 per hectare can be cut. It is rare that more than 5% of a hectare is actually cut down or that even 10% is allowed.
So as long as there is selective harvesting, the forests are sustainable. The only clear cutting of tropical forests occurs for agriculture. It is too expensive to cut down all the trees when less than 10% have commercial value.


Thank you Marv for all this comprehensive info. FSC operates internationally then across the globe?


yes, FSC operates world wide.


Looks beautiful. In what form will it be imported, logs ?


no, logs cannot be exported.

has to be a finished product

very few countries allow log exports anymore

kiln dried lumber, decking, fencing, flooring, maybe live edge slabs are set to come up next month. One load to Ontario, one maybe to Virginia

Live edge slab market is slumping here for the last year, but these will come in at half the price of walnut, so should be sellable.

I am a little nervous about decking, as there are so many potential problems when you put wood outside. But I think the fencing market could be interesting. I sold my brother in law exotic wood for his fence 12 years ago. Looked at it yesterday. No warps, cracks or rot, and it will last another 30 or 40 years. It seems to have different stress as a fence than it does as a deck.

I think the flooring has huge potential. Looks like walnut, but much harder and cheaper. I am hoping they bring some up so I can see a finished floor with it


@Marv_Vandermeer seems like exotic wood commands exotic durability! :rofl:

But seriously, why are log exports curtailed? To crack down on illegal logging?
And if so, aren’t live edge slabs pretty close to that – require minimal processing/investment and can be the next frontier for illegal tropical forest exploitation?

You are such a wealth of info Marv that we are all learning as we go!


log exports are curtailed to force companies to process them inside the country of origin and invest in that country and create jobs.
selling logs is a long term money loser for the country and for the environment


with regards to live edge slabs, they are not easy to produce in the jungle. What is done in the jungle for illegal (and legal) logging is they cut the log into cants with a chainsaw small enough to carry out. Colombia recently made the chainsaw cants illegal. But they did not have alternatives ad financing in place, so there will either be illegal logging or poor people getting poorer


If the chainsaw cants are illegal, how can they carry out entire logs out of the jungle then? That makes the problem a lot harder, no?


whole logs are much harder to carry out, you need skidders, roads, loaders

so they just continue to carry out the chainsawn cants and try not to get caught. Or pay a bribe if caught…


OMG so regulation meant well but is not helping here. Because they did not offer an alternative solution …