Finding mahogany lumber

My mother in-law recently gave my wife and I a bedroom suite that is made of mahogany in PA. She said that a blight came through and wiped out all the mahogany and you can no longer get it. I disagreed with her saying that the only recent blight I can think of that wiped out most of the species was the blight that killed the Chestnutt trees. Who's correct?
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She is. All the trees in PA died about 500,000 years ago.
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snipped-for-privacy@cox.net (Basspro*) wrote in

Well, while Toller's answer is undoubtably right for mahogany trees in Pennsylvania, in a more general sense you are. The "true" mahogany, Cuban or Santo Domingan, has become very scarce due to over logging & habitat destruction (the usual things), but it can still be gotten occasionally. The very similar Honduras mahogany is readily available, altho there's concern about the sustainability of that species. Then there's a whole mess of mahogany look-a-likes from various parts of Africa & Asia, which are also widely available (Khaya, Okoume, Luauan, etc).
There is a blight, or more accurately a bug, which affects mahogany seedlings. This has frustrated attempts to grow the real mahoganies in plantations, as is done for teak. I suspose it's possible your MIL has heard of that.
BTW, while you're thinking of chestnuts, don't forget the elms.
John
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On 16 Jan 2004 07:21:42 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@cox.net (Basspro*) wrote:

No, _we_ wiped out all the mahogany. There's not much, and we spent the 18th century felling it like crazy. Then the 19th century came along with steam power and we could cut it far faster than it could regrow. Chances are that the sugar in your coffee is grown on some land that was growing mahogany 200 years ago.
You can still get true mahogany, but it's CITES controlled and very expensive. I have a small board of it, waiting to be made into a tea caddy or humidor, and it cost about $30 / bd. ft. (from roadbuilding clearance in Cuba)
Other related species are still around in parts in Central America, but these are also endangered. I'm a great fan of using timber, even rare stuff, but we should be sparing with it. Check its origin, use it wisely and support on-going replanting or conservation schemes. Clearcutting for agriculture is a lot more damaging than raising the public profile and value of this fine timber by making furniture from it.
There are also many African timbers sold as "mahogany". They're generally ugly, dull and of little attractiveness. Some of them are also endangered.
-- Do whales have krillfiles ?
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snipped-for-privacy@cox.net (Basspro*) wrote in message

Mahogany comes in difference flavors (African, Honduras), and it's readily available.
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and Larry Bud wrote:

Doubt if it would grow in PA, it's tropical. Latin American mahogany is a woodworkers dream to work, with either hand or power tools. Still being imported. BIG tree with tall, wide buttresses, straight up for into the upper areas of the jungle's canopy.
There was a "blight" on elms, Dutch Elm Disease and we've currently got a small boring beatle that's doing in pines here in CA. Biggest tree "blight" is man.
charlie b
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