Timber for building in East Africa
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1. TIMBER SPECIES OF EAST AFRICA These fall into four groups: indigenous and exotic; each divided into Broad leaved (or hardwood)species and Conifers (or softwood) species. Indigenous Broad leaved species These comprise the majority of the species and occur over the whole of East Africa though they are of particular economic importance to Uganda and Tanzania in the absence of large supplies of conifers. This group includes such species as Mvule, E.A. Camphor, African Mahogany, Muninga and many others most of which are more used for joinery than building though certain properties such as a locally favourable supply and durability may encourage their use in some circumstances. These timbers occur in natural forests though there are a few plantations. Indigenous Conifers The two species~ Pedo and Cedar9 are declining in importance in Kenya as they become worked outo Both grow on the slopes of the higher mountains mainly in Kenya and N. Tanzania. Cedar may be classified as a scarce timber in large sizes but Podo is still available in Kenya and is fairly common in No Tanzaniao Exotic Broad leaved species The main species are ubiquitous ~~ligna gum and grevillea from Australia. Other eucalypts are also grown in plantations and there is some teak in Tanzaniao The eucalypts have mainly been used for poles and not great deal in converted form in construction though there is no reason why this should not be done. Exotic Conifers These include Cypress and Pine and are grown extensively in the Kenya Highlands and parts of Tanzania. Cypress is the main construction timber over much of East Africa and this market will be shared with Pine as increasing quantities of the latter become available.
University Of Nairobi
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