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The heartwood ranges in color from pale pink to deep red, or red-brown. The sapwood is white to light pink, and is clearly demarcated from the heartwood. The texture is fine to medium with a lustrous surface. The grain is generally straight, but sometimes figured with an appearance similar to decorative moiré or watered silk, with streaks of darker color. It is liable to stain if it comes in contact with iron compounds in damp conditions.

Formal Name: Tieghemella heckelii

Other Names: African Cherry


Makore is found in West Africa, from Sierra Leone to Cameroon and Gabon, and south to Cabinda. It grows widely in the high rain forests.

Working Properties

Makore can be difficult to work with both hand and machine tools, due to its high silica content. This causes severe blunting of cutting edges, particularly in dry wood, and carbide-tipped saws are recommended. The wood holds screws well and glues satisfactorily, although it tends to split when nailing. An excellent finish can be produced with care.

Main Uses

Makore is used in furniture making, cabinetwork, turnery and high-end joinery, as well as for boat-building, flooring, and marine plywood. It has good veneering properties, and is used for decorative veneers for coach and architectural paneling.