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Free Report - Ìrókò tree

by Adetomiwa Sijuade | 30-03-2022 16:59 recommendations 0

Iroko is a large hardwood tree from the west coast of tropical Africa that can live up to 500 years. The tree is known to the Yoruba tribe as ìrókò, logo or loko and is believed to have supernatural properties. Iroko is known to the Igbo people as oji wood. It is one of the woods sometimes referred to as African teak, although it is unrelated to the teak family. The wood colour is initially yellow but darkens to a richer reddish brown over time. It is yielded mostly (probably) by Milicia excelsa. In much of the literature on this timber the names of the trees that yields it are given as Chlorophora excelsa and Chlorophora regia. The tree is feared in some cultures where it originates and hence is shunned or revered with offerings. Yoruba people believe that the tree is inhabited by a spirit, and anybody who sees the Iroko-man face to face becomes insane and speedily dies. According to the Yoruba, any man who cuts down any Iroko tree causes devastating misfortune on himself and all of his family, although if they need to cut down the tree they can make a prayer afterwards to protect themselves. They also claim that the spirit of the Iroko can be heard in houses which use Iroko wood, as the spirit of the Iroko is trapped in the wood. In Nigeria the iroko wood is of much lower quality due to soil conditions as well as root-rot. Some Westerners refer to the wood as "poor man's teak".
    The wood is used for a variety of purposes including boat-building, domestic flooring and furniture. From the late 1990s, it was used as part of the txalaparta, a Basque musical instrument constructed of wooden boards, due to its lively sound. Iroko is one of the traditional djembe woods. Iroko wood was the wood chosen for the pews in the Our Lady of Peace Basilica.

It is a very durable wood; iroko does not require regular treatment with oil or varnish when used outdoors, although it is very difficult to work with tools as it tends to splinter easily, and blunts tools very quickly.

In the UK there are no trade restrictions on the machining of this timber. The only reported adverse effects known to be caused by the dust from Iroko are asthma, dermatitis and nettle rash.


Image source: Wikipedia
Milicia excelsa image

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  • Dormant user Adetomiwa Sijuade
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  • Nayoung Kim says :
    Thank you so much for the useful information!
    Posted 02-08-2022 03:09

  • Chelwoon Mentor says :
    Hello Adetomiwa, this is your mentor Chelwoon.

    Thanks for introducing Iroko to us! Iroko seems to be very meaningful for people in your country. It has various advantages as well! In my country, South Korea, there are also several trees that are meaningful, though I do not know they are believed to have supernatural properties. I hope people in your country can keep the ecosystem around the trees safe

    Thank you for the article!

    Posted 01-04-2022 06:25

  • Joon Mentor says :
    Hello Adetomiwa, this is your mentor Joon.

    I am quite familiar with the tree as I have lived in Africa for more than three years. I remember the tree to be very hard and used for carpentry. However, there are claims that the tree consumes too much natural minerals so that it reduces the growth of surrounding plants. It is quite typical for tropical specie including Avocado tree. As dust from most trees cause asthma, I do not believe it is a serious adverse effect compared to others.

    Well read your article, and let's keep up!


    Posted 31-03-2022 15:43

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