koa wood

KOA EXOTIC WOOD

Koa may be the most spectacular hardwood in the world!  I know of no other wood possessing the chatoyancy or range of colors of Koa.   The spirit of the volcano lives in this tree and radiates from the lumber.  The problem with Koa is that it only grows on one set of islands in the world, only well on one island and only at its best at higher elevations.  The wild cattle and pigs on the Big Island of Hawaii find immature Koa bark to be a delicacy and can strip an acre of these shoots in one night.  This keeps this once plentiful species from regenerating.  Very little Koa remains in agriculture zones in which harvesting is permitted.  Most of the remaining Koa is in the conservation zone where harvesting is usually prohibited.  When established, Koa grows rapidly enjoying the finest climate, rainfall and soil.  Hopefully more people will protect this species from invasive mammals and allow it to flourish again.  Koa can be found on the other Hawaiian Islands but those trees tend to lack the splendor of Koa growing on the Big Island.

  • Can be highly figured
  • Wide range of colors
  • Superior tonewood
  • Highest levels of chatoyancy
  • Species under distress by ranches
  • One of the finest and most expensive hardwood lumbers
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Characteristics of Koa

Origin of Wood Type Hawaii
Botanical Name Acacia koa
Specific Gravity 0.67
Avg. Weight Per BF 3.42 lb/ bf
Color Range Yellow – Gold – Red – Pink – Brown
Rarity / Availability Rare
Typical Avg. Width 4 to 20 inches, on occasion can be found up to 50 inches wide!
Typical Avg. Length 6 to 10 feet, sometimes can be found up to 14 feet long
Avg. Waste Factor 0.5
Wood Uses Fine Furniture, Cabinetry, Architectural Millwork, Ukuleles, Guitar Building / Instrument Making, Wood Turning, Boat Building, Wood Carving, Flooring, Veneer and many other uses
Lumber Grades Common 1 & 2, Select and Better, FAS, Quartersawn, Quartersawn (Figured), Flitch, Figured (Heavy), Figured (Medium), Veneer
Other Trade Names Hawaiian Acacia, Acacia
Koa Lumber Pricing