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Rubberwood is wood from the Pará rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). Rubberwood has been produced on a small scale, but has become much more common. There are extensive plantations with these trees in southeast Asia; the earlier practice was to just burn the tree at the end of its latex-producing cycle. Rubberwood is advertised as an "environmentally friendly" wood, as it makes use of plantation trees that have already served a useful function.
Rubberwood also known as Plantation Hardwood is the standard common name for the hardwood timber of Hevea brasiliensis.
Rubberwood has a dense grain that is easily controlled in the kiln drying process. Rubberwood has very little shrinkage making it one of the more stable construction materials available for furniture, toys and kitchen accessories. It is not suitable for outdoor usage.
Rubberwood is used only after it completes its latex producing cycle, generally when it is 25-30 years old. When the latex yields become extremely low, the trees are then felled, and new ones are usually planted. This wood is therefore eco-friendly in the sense that it is being used when it would normally be thrown away.
As with all hardwoods, rubberwood comes in varying degrees of quality.
Rubberwood is sometimes also called parawood, or "Hevea" for the genus that the tree belongs to. In 2002, the Malaysian Ministry of Primary Industries marketed it under the name "Malaysian Oak".
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- Properties of rubberwood at the USDA Forest Products Laboratory, Madison
- Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study: The Utilization, processing and demand for Rubberwood as a source of wood supply