Baru

INTRODUCTION

The common Malaysian name for the timber of Hibiscus spp. and Thespesia populnea (Malvaceae). Vernacular names applied include baru-baru (Peninsular Malaysia), baru laut (Sabah), bebaru (Peninsular Malaysia), bebaru bulu (Peninsular Malaysia), kali bang-bang (Sabah), kangsar (Peninsular Malaysia), langkubing (Sarawak), randog (Sabah) and tutor (Peninsular Malaysia). Major species include Hibiscus borneensis, H. campylosiphon, H. floccosus, H. macrophyllus, H. tiliaceus; and Thespesia populnea. The sapwood ranges from white to light yellow and is not defined to sharply defined from the heartwood, which varies from light yellow, light grey-brown, grey-black, purple black to red brown.

Also known as Baru, Bontoe, Waru, Waru gunong and Waroe (Indonesia); Silver hibiscus (Papua New Guinea); Gummamela de arana and Malubago (Philippines); and Ehaba (Thailand).


DENSITY

The timber is soft to moderately hard and light to moderately heavy with a density of 450-625 kg/m3 air dry.


TEXTURE

Texture is fine to slightly coarse and even, with straight, interlocked or twisted grain.


MACHINING PROPERTIES

It is easy to work and generally produces a smooth finish.


AIR DRYING

The timber seasons well but is highly susceptible to blue stain. 


SHRINKAGE

Shrinkage of timber during seasoning is low in H. tiliaceus and moderate to high in H. campylosiphon.


USES

The timber is used for local house building, interior finishing, mouldings, wag-on frame, vehicle shafts, household implements, tool handles, picture frames, carving, tooth picks, matches and match boxes and fencing. Paper manufactured from H. tiliaceus pulp is of low quality as the fibres are short (0.7-1.3 mm) and is only suitable for wrapping paper.


REFERENCE

  1. Wong, T. M. 1982. A Dictionary of Malaysian Timbers. Revised by Lim, S. C. & Chung, R. C. K. Malayan Forest Record No. 30. Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. 201 pp.