Mango trees are best known for the succulent, juicy fruits they produce. However, mango wood is being discovered as a lovely, richly-grained wood that works well for a variety of projects. Here is why mango wood is a sustainable choice.
Mango trees grow to large sizes, reaching heights of 60 to 100 feet with girths up to 5 feet in diameter. It takes a mango tree about 20 years to reach this size, and at that point, the tree stops producing fruit (or produces far less). Mango farmers then cut down the tree and plant younger trees so that they can continue to produce and sell fruit.
In the past, the cut-down mango trees were often discarded. Now, however, as the value of mango wood is becoming more widely recognized, the trees that are past fruit-bearing age are cut up and used to produce various items. This thwarting of waste is one thing that makes mango wood part of an eco-friendly approach to the manufacture of wood items.
What Else Makes Mango Wood Sustainable?
- Responsible management of mango plantations adds to the sustainability of mango wood. Cut-down trees are immediately replaced, and only old, fruitless trees are harvested for wood.
- The use of mango wood prevents teak and other endangered woods from being harvested from the wild.
- Manufacturing of wood products provides additional revenue for mango farmers, supporting the local community.
- Overall deforestation is reduced by using domestic mango wood.
- Mango wood is relatively hard and dense and therefore very durable, requiring little to no maintenance.
- Using the mango wood from cut-down trees reduces carbon emissions, because the wood is not left to rot (rotting wood produces carbon dioxide).
What Can Be Made from Mango Wood?
Mango wood has what some call a “tiger’s eye” grain. The grain is pronounced, adding a depth and beauty to the wood. Interestingly, the wood itself varies greatly in color, from deep mahogany brown to tawny tan. Some of the items that can be made from mango wood include:
- Tables (nesting, end, coffee, dining, etc.)
- Kitchen cabinets
- Entertainment centers
- CD/DVD storage units
- Book shelves
- Headboards and footboards
There are many other items that can be made from mango wood; almost anything that would normally be made from other hardwoods can be made from mango wood.
Because mango wood is a tropical wood, items kept in a dry or cold area of the world (such as the south-western US or New England) will need an occasional application of oil. Also, you might consider running a humidifier in your home to preserve the integrity of the wood.