Rosewood Trees – endangered and expensive
Rosewood in some parts of the world is on the verge of extinction. Brazil banned Rosewood logging some years ago. Some predict the extinction of Madagascar Rosewood from years of illegal logging and political upheavals. A 2013 census revealed that as much as 90% of the country’s virgin Rosewood forest had been harvested. Demand from China and high prices have driven this tree to the edge.
Invest In A Rosewood Tree Plantation
A Rosewood tree can sell for as much as $50 per board foot prompting tree investors to look for new geographic areas to grow Rosewood trees.
Types Of Rosewood
There are many types of Rosewood including Brazilian Rosewood, Indian Rosewood and Madagascar Rosewood. These are true rosewoods. Today, inferior tree species that resemble rosewood are passed off as true rosewood. Some of these are Bolivian Rosewood, Australian Rosewood (which is actually a Mahogany) and New Guinea Rosewood. Rosewood is prized for musical instrument and furniture inlays.
The Rosewood tree is prized for its dark red heartwood. Rosewood is a tropical hardwood with a tight, even grain. Rosewood is heavy and hard, but relatively easy to work with. Rosewood has a strong sweet smell, which persists over many years, even in furniture that may be hundreds of years old. Amazingly, just scratching or refinishing antique furniture will release the smell of roses.
Rosewood Essential Oil
The Rosewood tree is also an important tree for the essential oil industry. It is used externally for skin conditions such as acne, scars and stretch marks. Internally it is used as a cold and flu remedy. Rosewood oil is steam extracted from Rosewood chips.
In its natural habitat, a Rosewood tree grows relatively fast like most tropical trees, about 3 to 4 feet per year to a maximum height of 100 feet or so. Tree Plantation has developed a proprietary tree tray that stimulates tree roots to enhance top growth. Growth rates can double those in the wild.
The following comments where collected from a national wood products discussion forum using Rosewood in the United States.
Comment from contributor A:
In general, rosewoods contain extractives that interfere with gluing. The best approach seems to be to glue only freshly planed or sanded surfaces. (Cocobolo--Dalbergia retusa--is notorious for being virtually unglueable.) The same extractives also interfere with finishing. Penetrating oil finishes generally work well. If you want to use a film-forming finish like lacquer or varnish, an initial sealer coat of shellac should help prevent the extractives from inhibiting curing of the finish.
Comment from contributor B:
An important thing to consider when buying Brazilin Rosewood is to make sure it comes with paper work showing that it predates the Brazilian ban on exports or at least was approved for export from a reliable source. It would save a lot of trouble if we grew it here in the States – down South maybe?