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.
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.
On 16 Jan 2004 07:21:42 -0800, email@example.com (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
There are also many African timbers sold as "mahogany". They're
generally ugly, dull and of little attractiveness. Some of them are
Do whales have krillfiles ?
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.
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
a small boring beatle that's doing in pines here in CA. Biggest tree
"blight" is man.
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