Muhuhu

Muhuhu (Brachlaena hutchinsii) is a species of tropical hardwood from Africa. The main countries of distribution are Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In addition the range does extend as far as Angola. Also known as Silver Oak, Muhugwe and Kipugupugo.

This species is on the IUCN Red List and classified ‘Rare’ within its natural growth range in Uganda. Listed as ‘endangered’ due to a tree population reduction of over 50% in the past three generations. A decline in the natural range of growth, as well as the exploitation of the species  causes the tree population reduction. During the 1970s, this timber was was often used as a replacement for teak. As a consequence Muhuhu is to be found in large commercial buildings.

The tree is classified as small to medium. This explains the smaller size block so typical of reclaimed Muhuhu. Timber mills cut the most efficiently possible, and this block size would result in less waste.

Muhuhu Characteristics

Often confused with the African hardwood Afrormosia (Pericopsis elata) which has very similar characteristics. Sanding is one of the ways to confirm identification, as the scent of Muhuhu is very distinctive, unlike Afrormosia. There is commercial trade in the extracted aromatic oil. The timber is a substitute for sandalwood and also used for carving in Kenya. This accounts for a large quantity of felling of smaller trees.

The heartwood is golden brown, sometimes with an olive hue, and with a creamy buff contrasting sapwood. These beautiful mid-range colour tones darken over time to a caramel tone. It has a fine, very silky, smooth grain and is cool to the touch. It is a dense, slow-growing and very durable wood with a high tannin content.

This species makes a first grade parquet floor. Muhuhu a highly recommended hard-wearing wood.

Finally you can buy here when available.

Muhuhu

Muhuhu close-up