- story by MaterialDistrict
The coconut palm (Cocos Nucifera L.) grows to a height of 20 to 40 metres and the diameter of the trunk ranges from 20 to 35 cm. The palms do not grow thicker in the course of time, only taller. Every part of the coconut palm can be used, from the leaves used for building roofs, to the processing of the trunk for wood. The most important use of the coconut palm however is for the production of coconuts (fibres, coconut milk, copra, and coconut oil). A coconut palm lives for several decades. As it ages, the palm produces smaller and smaller coconuts.
It is usually too expensive for the owner to plant a new tree because it takes a very long time before they bear nuts. By buying in old trees, which in fact are of excellent wood quality, new trees with higher productivity can be planted without posing a financial risk for the owner. The trees are then brought to the sawmill and the bottom part of the palm trunk is processed into coconut wood or (in the case of sugar palms) into vases.
The trunk of the coconut palm has a different structure from other wood trees. The outer surface of the trunk has a hard layer that is used as wood. This coconut wood is a relatively hard, dark wood type with a unique grain structure, without growth rings. Coconut wood is one of the most durable wood types in the world.
Palmwood has two components: dark storks and fibrous material which holds everything together. Due to this structure the material should be finished well before use.