Mango Wood Facts
Mango wood is the hardwood timber cultivated from the mango fruit tree (Mangifera indica). Native to the Indian subcontinent but also grown the world over in any place where the climate is frost free, notably in India, much of East Asia, Brazil and Mexico, this striking-looking tree is grown primarily as a fruit bearing tree.
The Mangifera indica tree is an extremely large, long-lived species which can grow as tall as 100 feet in height and 5 feet in diameter. Like most hardwood trees native to tropical climates it is an evergreen tree with leaves which change from red to green and small white flowers. The fruit is consumed all over the world and is a very common ingredient in Indian and East-Asian cuisine.
While mango trees are an extremely long-lived species, as the tree ages it will eventually stop producing fruit. Once a tree reaches this stage, it is cut down and replanted and the trunk is used for beautiful hardwood timber. In its native India, the timber is commonly crafted into furniture, culinary equipment, vases, bowls and decorative carvings and is becoming more and more popular in Western countries.
Mango wood is a hard, dense timber, although is far lighter than most other hardwoods such as teak or oak. Its beautiful grain is often made up of many different colours and tones, ranging from a dark or light green through browns and light tan colours. This stunning grain looks lovely in its natural form but looks even better with a coat or two of beeswax polish and provides a look that betters with age.
The wood, though strong, is easy to cut and shape and as such, it lends itself beautifully to carving or turning as this allows the full range of colours to show through on the surface of the piece. The fantastic grain of the wood also looks beautiful crafted into large flat panels such as those used in more modern cube style furniture, especially larger pieces such as dining tables, bookcases or sideboards.
Mango wood timber products are one of the most sustainable timber products on the planet, being made from what is essentially a waste by-product of the massive fruit industry in Asia. As the trees are continually being cut down to create space for younger trees which will produce more fruit, it would be a shame to waste such a valuable and decorative commodity hence the fruit farmers sell on the timber to subsidise their livelihood.
The fair-trade furniture pieces and decorative items found in much of the western world are mainly produced in India by highly skilled, traditional craftsmen before being exported to other countries. As the cost of living in India is far lower than that of the western world, coupled with the fact that the wood is recycled from what is essentially a waste product, means that mango wood furniture is a very affordable alternative to many more common hardwoods and provides a good income for the skilled farmers and craftsmen that create it.