Jatoba, Tempisque, and Araracanga

Jatoba, Tempisque, and Araracanga

Costa Rica sustainable forestry project


In our last blog post we covered three popular exotic wood options, that C3 Forest Products obtains from a sustainable forestry program in Costa Rica. The country is well known for its tropical forest cover and stunning trees, and we are blessed to have access to these beautiful resources.


Wooden products, made from the rain and cloud forests of this beautiful country, are a rich reminder of the magic country and its people. In this post, we will cover Jatoba, Tempisque, and Araracanga wood.


Our hope is that this will give you a better idea of the best wood for your project, as well as a stronger attachment to the piece, knowing its history, construction, and lifeline.                                                                                                                                                                                        

Costa rica exotic hardwoods


The Jatoba tree is also known as brazilian cherry ,West Indian Locust, and oddly, "Stinking Toe." The tree has this name because of it's fruit, that looks similar to a toe. A powdery pulp can be eaten straight from the pod, and has a pleasant taste, but a less enjoyable smell, hence the name. 


The Jatoba tree has an average height of 130 feet with a diameter of up to 6 feet.
The bole is usually straight and without branches, for the first 45 to 70 feet, and is crowned with a spreading top of dense branches.

live edge slab


The Jatoba tree has a heartwood that varies from a light orangish brown to a darker reddish brown, sometimes with contrasting darker grayish brown streaks.The sapwood is a light grayish yellow, clearly demarcated from the heartwood.


The wood is heavy, very hard and durable, and is prized for use in furniture and flooring. The sap is also used for varnishes, ointments, and incense. It finishes smooth and has a natural luster and a warm glow. 


live edge slab


Tempisque trees have a pale yellow sapwood, which is a high contrast to the beautiful tone of the heartwood, which is straw-yellow in color, freshly cut. In contact with the oxygen of the air begins to change the color of the wood. Its hue slowly develops into a beautiful and noticeable light orange color, with remarkable bands of darker color.


Tempisque wood is a very valuable material for heavy construction, and for furniture making. 


live edge crosscut table



Araracanga trees reach heights of up to 20 to 30 meters and diameters of about 40 to 60 centimeters. The boles are often straight and cylindrical and are covered with a typically ridged bark. Aspidosperma species also exude a milk that has many uses. 

It is found in lowland and low elevation montane rain forests up to 700 meters of altitude, in primary and secondary formations. In Brazil, the range for this species is the cerrado forests. Heartwood ranges from golden yellow to reddish-brown, sometimes with violet to pinkish streaks. Its yellowish sapwood is not always clearly demarcated from heartwood and the color tends to darken with age. 

C3 Forest Products

Shop any of the wood products above at our online store, and stay tuned for our next blog post.