Dark Red Meranti

Dark Red Meranti

Meranti is a common name applied commercially to four groups of species from the genus Shorea, grown most commonly in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. 

Dark Red Meranti

There are thousands of common names for various species from the genus Shorea, but the names "Philippine mahogany" and "lauan" are often substituted for meranti. The four groups of meranti are separated on the basis of heartwood color and weight. About 70 species of Shorea belong to the light and dark red meranti groups, 22 species to the white meranti group, and 33 species to the yellow meranti group.

Meranti species as a whole have a coarser texture than that of mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) and do not have dark colored deposits in pores.

The grain is usually interlocked thereby allowing minimal uneven wear between growth rings. All merantis have axial resin ducts aligned in long, continuous, tangential lines as seen on the end surface of the wood. The trees grow to 130 feet tall (20 to 40 meters) with average tree trunk of 3 to 6 feet in diameter (1 to 2 meters).

These ducts sometimes contain white deposits that are visible to the naked eye but the wood is not resinous like some keruing (Dipterocarpus) species that resemble meranti.  All the meranti groups are machined easily except white meranti, which dulls cutters as a result of high silica content in the wood. Light red and white meranti dries easily without degrade, but dark red and yellow meranti dries more slowly and my bow.

The strength and shrinkage properties of the meranti groups compare favorably with that of northern red oak (Quercus rubra).  Light red, white, and yellow meranti are not durable in exposed conditions or in ground contact whereas dark red meranti is moderately durable. Generally, heartwood is extremely resistant to moderately resistant with respect to preservative treatments.

Species of meranti are used in joinery, furniture and cabinetwork, moulding and millwork, flooring, and general construction.  Dark red meranti is used for decking.

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