An Alternative to Rosewood

Many of our customers in the United States have been speaking with us about suitable alternatives to Rosewood.

At a Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna, (CITES), the genus of Dalbergia, (a.k.a. Rosewood), was added to protected species list. This new regulation took effect at the beginning of 2017.

Dalbergia Rosewood can be categorized as a small to medium sized tree native to many tropical areas including Africa and Central and South America. Rosewood lumber has been commonly used in musical instruments, fine furniture, wood turnings and many other miscellaneous hardwood specialty items because of its beautiful color and grain characteristics.

At Baillie Lumber we do not carry any of the Dalbergia hardwood lumber species, but we do offer customers some great alternatives to help them in manufacturing their products.

  • Morado / Pau Ferro / Bolivian Rosewood - This is a beautiful wood. It possesses a tremendous amount of colors and at first glance can appear a lot like a true rosewood. We typically provide this to customers in 4/4 Kiln Dried stock, and these days it is available as 3” and wider and 3’ and longer lumber. Morado grows primarily in Bolivia and can be difficult to source at times. However, we currently have a slow but steady supplier that helps keep us with inventory demands. (Photos below)

  • Chechen / Caribbean Rosewood – This Mexican species is also a great substitute for Rosewood. Chechen, is also known as Poisonwood to the locals because its sap can cause allergic reactions. However, once it is kiln dried that is no longer a concern. Caribbean Rosewood is known for its great vibrant color characteristics. When the lumber is rough it can appear a bit dull, but once it is machined it looks spectacular. We typically stock this specie in a 4/4 thickness. Upon request, we can work with customers to arrange for other thicknesses and hardwood slabs.

Manufacturing with tropical hardwood lumber can have its challenges. International rules, regulations, and reliable steady supply can impact production. Many of our customers rely on us to help them through the process. Our International hardwood lumber team is expert in locating, selecting and securing properly harvested tropical hardwood lumber from all around the world. We take pride in staying up to date on the required compliance issues and do our best to ensure our customers have all the information and documentation they need to be successful.

If you are looking for information on imported tropical hardwood species give us a call. We would love to help.

Jesper Bach
The Baillie Group
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