Articles: Uses of Ekki Timber

Ekki Timber is one of the few timbers which is ideal for marine use and is more readily available than some of the others like greenheart and teak. The durability and structural strength of Ekki Timber makes it ideal for lock gates and boat hulls where the timber is constantly submerged in water.

The timber is available in huge section sizes of up to 500x500 which is barely matched by any other timber we supply. Ekki’s ability to withstand high amounts of pressure is what makes it so suitable for underwater tasks.

Having a long lifespan and slow decay rate makes this timber useful outside of a marine environment as well. Large footbridges and railway crossings can also be made out of Ekki, particularly, when spanning large areas like rivers and forest walkways.

Logging of Ekki is particularly managed with only mature, large in diameter trees, being allowed to be harvested. This means that there is less pressure on the species and allows it to be managed and used responsibly.

Does Ekki have any other uses or interesting properties?

Yes, it does, Ekki happens to have strong electrical insulating properties which allows it to be used for electric fencing without having a separate isolator.

Ekki is tough to work with and has a blunting effect on tools used to machine and cut it. It is important to predrill any holes before nailing to help prevent splitting the wood. The timber is also notoriously difficult to treat.

When drying the timber tends to shake badly and develop surface checking and end splitting hence why it is so readily used in freshwater construction.

A Timber of Many Names

Found across Africa Ekki is known by a myriad of different names including:

  • Bongossi (The Cameroons)
  • Kaku (Ghana)
  • Azobe (Ivory Coast)
  • Akoura (Gabon)
  • Eba (Nigeria)
  • Hendui (Sierra Leone)