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Terminalia ivorensis A.Chev.

Vég. util. Afr. trop. Franç. 5: 152 (1909).
Chromosome number
2n = 24
Vernacular names
Black afara, black barked terminalia, black bark, yellow terminalia, satinwood, shingle wood (En). Framiré, chêne d’Afrique (Fr). Mwalambe (Sw).
Origin and geographic distribution
Terminalia ivorensis occurs from Guinea-Bissau east to western Cameroon. It has been planted in many tropical countries as a promising timber plantation species, e.g. in Senegal, Uganda, Tanzania, India, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Costa Rica, Panama and Brazil.
The wood, usually traded as ‘framiré’ or ‘idigbo’, is valued for light construction, door and window frames, joinery, furniture, cabinet work, veneer and plywood. It is suitable for flooring, interior trim, vehicle bodies, sporting goods, boxes, crates, matches, turnery, hardboard, particle board and pulpwood. It is used locally for house construction, planks, roof shingles, fencing posts, dug-out canoes, drums and mortars. Mixed with other woods, it is suitable for paper making. The wood is also used as firewood and for charcoal production; offcuts are highly valued in Ghana for making charcoal.
The tree is used in agroforestry systems as a shade tree in cocoa, banana and coffee plantations, and it is also planted as roadside tree. A yellow dye is present in the bark and wood; it is used traditionally to dye clothes and fibres for basketry. Bark decoctions or powdered bark are used in traditional medicine to treat wounds, sores, ulcers and haemorrhoids, against malaria and yellow fever, and as an anodyne in cases of rheumatism and muscular pain. Leaf sap is applied to cuts and against colds, and is also taken, together with bark decoctions, as an enema to treat gonorrhoea and kidney complaints, and as an aphrodisiac.
Production and international trade
In 1960 Africa exported about 28,000 m³ of logs (12,000 m³ from Côte d’Ivoire, 10,500 m³ from Ghana, 4000 m³ from Nigeria and 800 m³ from Cameroon) and about 13,000 m³ of sawn wood (mainly from Ghana). In 1974 Côte d’Ivoire exported 132,000 m³ of logs and in 1983 still 103,000 m³, but the amount decreased to 2800 m³ in 1996. In 2005 Côte d’Ivoire exported 35,000 m³ of framiré sawnwood at an average price of US$ 439/m³. In Ghana the annual export of Terminalia ivorensis logs was estimated at 19,500 m³ in 1998, but the export volumes declined to 3300 m³ in 2001 and about 2000 m³/year for all wood products together after 2001.
The heartwood is yellowish brown to pale pinkish brown and not clearly demarcated from the slightly paler, 2–5 cm wide sapwood. The grain is usually straight, sometimes slightly interlocked, texture moderately coarse. The wood is sometimes irregularly brown striped.
The wood is moderately lightweight to medium-weight, with a density of 410–670 kg/m³ at 12% moisture content. It air dries well and rapidly, with little degrade, provided there is good air circulation. The rates of shrinkage are moderate, from green to oven dry 2.9–4.8% radial and 4.5–7.4% tangential.
At 12% moisture content the modulus of rupture is 79–124 N/mm², modulus of elasticity 7840–12,350 N/mm², compression parallel to grain 32–75 N/mm², shear 4–12 N/mm², cleavage 9.5–20 N/mm, Janka side hardness 3330–3740 N, Janka end hardness 5030–5820 N and Chalais-Meudon side hardness 1.2–3.2.
The wood is easy to saw and work with both hand and machine tools; the blunting effect on cutting edges is slight. Quarter-sawn wood may tear slightly in planing operations. The wood finishes well when a filler is used. It stains, polishes and turns well, and has good nailing and screwing properties. It glues satisfactorily, although gluing must be done with care because the exudates from the wood are acidic. It contains yellowish tannins, which may cause staining under humid conditions and in contact with iron. The wood can be made into good-quality veneer, also by rotary peeling. The steam-bending properties are poor.
The wood is considered fairly durable, but it may be attacked by pin-hole borers, powder-post beetles, longhorn beetles and termites; it is fairly resistant to fungi. The heartwood is resistant, the sapwood moderately resistant to preservatives. The wood dust may cause irritation to the skin and respiratory tracts of wood workers.
The wood contains 39–41% cellulose, 31–32% lignin, 12–14% pentosan, 0.3–0.6% ash and very small amounts of silica. The solubility is 7.5–10.3% in alcohol-benzene, 2.2–4.5% in hot water and 13.7–14.9% in 1% NaOH solution.
Anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties of Terminalia ivorensis bark have been demonstrated in tests with rats. Extracts reduced carrageenan-induced paw oedema as well as adjuvant-induced arthritis. Moreover, they effectively checked diarrhoea produced by arachidonic acid and castor oil. Terminolic acid, ellagic acid, sericic acid, quercetin and glycyrrhetinic acid were isolated from the chloroform and methanol extracts. Ethanol extracts of the roots showed distinct trypanocidal activity against both drug-sensitive as well as multi-drug-resistant strains of Trypanosoma congolense and Trypanosoma brucei.
Adulterations and substitutes
In Europa and the United States the wood of Terminalia ivorensis is sometimes used as a substitute of oak (Quercus spp.).
Deciduous medium-sized to large tree up to 45(–50) m tall; root system usually consisting of a taproot and several strong superficial lateral roots; bole branchless for up to 30(–35) m, usually straight and cylindrical, but often slightly fluted or angular near the base, up to 120(–170) cm in diameter, sometimes with small and thick buttresses up to 1 m high; bark surface smooth and grey in young trees, but with deep longitudinal furrows and dark brown to black in older trees, inner bark fibrous, yellow, darkening upon exposure; branches in whorls, spreading; young twigs rusty-brown short-hairy. Leaves arranged spirally, clustered near ends of branchlets, simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole 7–15(–20) mm long, slender; blade obovate or narrowly obovate, 5–15 cm × 2.5–5(–6.5) cm, cuneate at base, short-acuminate at apex, leathery, glabrous, pinnately veined with 6–9 pairs of lateral veins. Inflorescence an axillary spike 7–15 cm long, slender; peduncle 2–4 cm long, whitish short-hairy. Flowers bisexual or male, regular, 5-merous, pale yellow; receptacle spindle-shaped, 1.5–5 mm long; sepals triangular, c. 2 mm long; petals absent; stamens 10, free, 3–5 mm long; disk annular, densely woolly hairy; ovary inferior, 1-celled, style 3–3.5 mm long, glabrous. Fruit a winged nut, oblong in outline, 5–8(–10) cm × 2–4.5(–6.5) cm including the wing, nut c. 1.5 cm × 1 cm, brownish short-hairy, indehiscent, 1-seeded. Seedling with epigeal germination; hypocotyl 4–7.5 cm long, epicotyl c. 1 cm long; cotyledons leafy, spreading; first 2 leaves alternate.
Other botanical information
Terminalia is a pantropical genus of about 200 species. In tropical mainland Africa about 30 species occur naturally, in Madagascar about 35.
Growth rings: (1: growth ring boundaries distinct); (2: growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent). Vessels: 5: wood diffuse-porous; 13: simple perforation plates; 22: intervessel pits alternate; 23: shape of alternate pits polygonal; 26: intervessel pits medium (7–10 μm); 27: intervessel pits large ( 10 μm); 29: vestured pits; 30: vessel-ray pits with distinct borders; similar to intervessel pits in size and shape throughout the ray cell; 42: mean tangential diameter of vessel lumina 100–200 μm; (43: mean tangential diameter of vessel lumina 200 μm); 46: 5 vessels per square millimetre; 47: 5–20 vessels per square millimetre. Tracheids and fibres: 61: fibres with simple to minutely bordered pits; 66: non-septate fibres present; 69: fibres thin- to thick-walled. Axial parenchyma: 78: axial parenchyma scanty paratracheal; 79: axial parenchyma vasicentric; (80: axial parenchyma aliform); (81: axial parenchyma lozenge-aliform); 83: axial parenchyma confluent; 84: axial parenchyma unilateral paratracheal; 92: four (3–4) cells per parenchyma strand; 93: eight (5–8) cells per parenchyma strand. Rays: 97: ray width 1–3 cells; 104: all ray cells procumbent; 106: body ray cells procumbent with one row of upright and/or square marginal cells; 115: 4–12 rays per mm. Secretory elements and cambial variants: 131: intercellular canals of traumatic origin.
(E. Uetimane, H. Beeckman & P. Gasson)
Growth and development
Seedlings grow rather slowly immediately after germination, but after a few months growth accelerates. In medium-sized to large gaps in the forest, young trees may reach 17 m tall and 25 cm in bole diameter 8 years after germination. In Côte d’Ivoire planted trees reached after 20 months a mean height of 2.9–4.9 m, but a maximum height of 9 m, and 3–6 cm in bole diameter. Trees of 22 years old reached 36.5 m in height and 75 cm in bole diameter, but more normal bole diameter increments are 1.5–2.5 cm/year. Studies in plantations in Nigeria showed that mean annual bole diameter increment varied from 19 mm in trees of 6 years old to 5 mm in trees of 23 years old and 2 mm in trees of 52 years old. However, diameter growth is strongly dependent from silvicultural practices. Height growth was most rapid in the first 10 years and decreased steadily afterwards, whereas mean annual wood volume increment reached a peak of 15.5 m³/ha after 10 years, steadily decreasing to 6.9 m³/ha 51 years after planting.
The trees are self-pruning, soon developing long and clear boles. They are leafless for 2–3 months in the dry season. Young trees may start flowering and fruiting when 5 years old. New leaves and flowers appear at the beginning of the rainy season, and flowering may continue for 2–3 months from April to July. In each inflorescence the lower flowers are bisexual and the upper functionally male. The flowers are pollinated by insects such as small butterflies and flies. In plantations in Nigeria the flies Chrysomaya chlorophyga and Lucilia euprina were identified as the major pollinators, with the peak of visiting flies just before noon. Fruits ripen towards the end of the dry season, in Ghana from December to January. They are usually produced annually and in large quantities, but often they are attacked by fungi and insects, whereas natural abscission is also common, probably correlated with adverse temperatures. The fruits can remain for a long time on the tree, but are eventually dispersed by wind.
Terminalia ivorensis is associated with vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizae.
Terminalia ivorensis occurs in evergreen forest and moist semi-deciduous forest, where larger trees are most common in lower-lying localities. It is most abundant in the transition zone between humid semi-deciduous forest and evergreen forest. In Ghana it seems most common along roadsides. It is found in regions with an annual rainfall of 1250–3000 mm and a dry season up to 3 months, and mean annual temperatures of 23–27°C. Terminalia ivorensis occurs on a wide range of soil types, from sandy to clayey-loamy and lateritic. It does not tolerate prolonged waterlogging, and is vulnerable to fire.
Propagation and planting
Terminalia ivorensis is classified as a pioneer species, with seedlings most commonly found along roadsides and on abandoned farmland, in Côte d’Ivoire sometimes abundantly in cocoa plantations. Regeneration is often sparse, but locally secondary forest can be dominated by young trees of Terminalia ivorensis. One kg contains 5500–6500 fruits, and about 10,000 de-winged nuts. The seeds show some dormancy, and the germination rate of fresh seed is often low. Soaking in water increases the germination rate. Alternate soaking and drying in the sun for one week improves germination up to a rate of 40%, and when these pre-treated seeds are mixed with mulch and kept in damp sacks in the sun for another 2 weeks, the germination rate can be raised to 80%. Scarification of seeds is another method of attaining high germination rates. Dipping for 3 hours in sulphuric acid, followed by 24 hours in cellulase solution and then 5 days in gibberellic acid gave the best germination results. At room temperature, seeds can be stored for up to 4 months, but in airtight containers stored below 5°C they may remain viable for up to 1 year. Germination starts 2–7 weeks after sowing. Seedlings are susceptible to drought, and under natural conditions are most common near streams and seasonal swamps. In the nursery, they are usually slightly shaded until they are 2 months old. They often remain in the nursery for 4 months.
Stumps or striplings can be used for planting out, usually prepared from 12–15-months-old plants, but these should be well protected against desiccation. Stumps should have a stem diameter of at least 13 mm, and striplings should be 120–180 cm long. Plantations established from container plants showed better results than those established from stumps and striplings, probably because of the damage done to the taproot. Methods for micropropagation have been developed using nodules excised from 6-year-old plants.
Trees are planted in spacings of 3 m × 3 m to 5 m × 10 m. In Nigeria optimum spacing has been suggested to be 4–5 m × 4–5 m. In Côte d’Ivoire 10,600 ha has been planted with Terminalia ivorensis between 1966 and 1994.
In general, adult trees of Terminalia ivorensis occur scattered in the forest, with low densities. In western Cameroon an average density of 0.2 tree with a minimum bole diameter of 60 cm per ha has been recorded, with an average wood volume of 1.9 m³/ha.
In the nursery it has been recommended to apply 0.5 g of an inorganic fertilizer to seedlings to promote both height growth and collar diameter growth. In experiments in Nigeria it was found that the application of ammonium sulphate at 100 ppm and NPK 15:15:15 at 50–100 ppm showed best results in height growth of seedlings. In plantations weeding is necessary for 2 years after planting. The first thinning should be done after 4–5 years when trees have reached a height of about 11 m, and the second after 8–9 years. It has been recommended to harvest plantation trees after 32 years with 3 thinnings, or after 40 years with 4 thinnings. In plantations trees often suffered considerable die-back. In the 1960s in Ghana, the die-back in 4–30-year-old plantations of Terminalia ivorensis, which was then the most widely planted timber species, was so severe that it was decided to abandon further planting. Trees can be coppiced.
Diseases and pests
Plantations in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon have been defoliated by larvae of the moth Epicerura spp., which may cause considerable decrease of the yield and massive die-back. Spraying with the insecticides decamethrin and thiocyclam hydrogen oxalate at concentrations of 900 g and 300 g active ingredient per ha, respectively, showed good results, but a virus disease attacking the pest was also identified. Fruits are often severely attacked by weevils of the genera Nanophyes and Auletobius.
Older trees often develop boles with brittle heart.
The total wood volume of plantations of Terminalia ivorensis harvested in Côte d’Ivoire at an age of 32 years was estimated at 335 m³/ha, and when harvested at an age of 40 years 350 m³/ha. In natural forest a tree of 60 cm in bole diameter yields about 3.7 m³ of wood, 6.6 m³ when 80 cm in diameter and 10.3 m³ when 100 cm in diameter.
Handling after harvest
Freshly harvested logs float in water and can thus be transported by river.
Genetic resources
Terminalia ivorensis has been classified as vulnerable in the IUCN Red list because of its occurrence in low densities, often poor regeneration and considerable exploitation locally. In Côte d’Ivoire some seed orchards have been planted since 1994.
Selection and breeding programmes for Terminalia ivorensis started in the 1960s, aiming at trees with superior growth rates and bole form.
The fair wood quality, including durability, high growth rate, straight bole and self-pruning ability make Terminalia ivorensis suitable for planting in timber plantations. However, the severe die-back in many plantations stopped the establishment of larger-scale plantations in the 1970s. Studies indicate that in Ghana the problems were caused by severe drought in combination with unfavourable sites, and the negligence of thinning and other appropriate silvicultural practices. Recommendations for successful new plantations include planting on oxysol-ochrosol intergrade soils, planting in mixtures with other timber species, especially line planting, and appropriate spacing and thinning. Trials demonstrated that under suitable growing conditions and proper management Terminalia ivorensis plantations are capable to produce trees with 60 cm bole diameter in 30 years.
Major references
• Boateng, K.T., 1992. Prospects of re-introducing Terminalia ivorensis A.Chev. into plantations of Ghana. MSc thesis, School of Agriculture and Forest Sciences, University College of North Wales, Bangor, United Kingdom. 87 pp.
• Bolza, E. & Keating, W.G., 1972. African timbers: the properties, uses and characteristics of 700 species. Division of Building Research, CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia. 710 pp.
• Burkill, H.M., 1985. The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. 2nd Edition. Volume 1, Families A–D. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 960 pp.
• CAB International, 2005. Forestry Compendium. Terminalia ivorensis. [Internet] http://www.cabicompendi fc/report.asp?ccode=tem_iv. Accessed October 2008.
• CTFT (Centre Technique Forestier Tropical), 1974. Framiré. Bois et Forêts des Tropiques 153: 23–34.
• Hawthorne, W.D., 1995. Ecological profiles of Ghanaian forest trees. Tropical Forestry Papers 29. Oxford Forestry Institute, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, United Kingdom. 345 pp.
• Liben, L., 1983. Combretaceae. Flore du Cameroun. Volume 25. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. 97 pp.
• Takahashi, A., 1978. Compilation of data on the mechanical properties of foreign woods (part 3) Africa. Shimane University, Matsue, Japan, 248 pp.
• Voorhoeve, A.G., 1979. Liberian high forest trees. A systematic botanical study of the 75 most important or frequent high forest trees, with reference to numerous related species. Agricultural Research Reports 652, 2nd Impression. Centre for Agricultural Publishing and Documentation, Wageningen, Netherlands. 416 pp.
• World Agroforestry Centre, undated. Agroforestree Database. [Internet] World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Nairobi, Kenya. http://www.worldagroforestry org/ Sites/TreeDBS/ aft.asp. Accessed October 2008.
Other references
• Abayomi, J.O., 1993. Growth trends for plantation grown Terminalia ivorensis in South-Western Nigeria. Forskningsserien, Forskningcentret for Skov og Landskab (Denmark) 1993 No 3: 181–187.
• Adewunmi, C.O., Agbedahunsi, J.M., Adebajo, A.C., Aladesanmi, A.J., Murphy, N. & Wando, J., 2001. Ethno-veterinary medicine: screening of Nigerian medicinal plants for trypanocidal properties. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 77: 19–24.
• Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (Editors), 2006. Flore analytique du Bénin. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands. 1034 pp.
• ATIBT (Association Technique Internationale des Bois Tropicaux), 1986. Tropical timber atlas: Part 1 – Africa. ATIBT, Paris, France. 208 pp.
• Aubréville, A., 1959. La flore forestière de la Côte d’Ivoire. Deuxième édition révisée. Tome troisième. Publication No 15. Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Nogent-sur-Marne, France. 334 pp.
• CIRAD Forestry Department, 2003. Framiré. [Internet] Tropix 5.0. Accessed October 2008.
• Corbineau, F. & Côme, D., 1993. Improvement of germination of Terminalia ivorensis seeds. Forest Genetic Resources Information 21: 29–36.
• Hawthorne, W., 1998. Terminalia ivorensis. In: IUCN. 2007 IUCN Red list of threatened species. [Internet] Accessed October 2008.
• Hawthorne, W. & Jongkind, C., 2006. Woody plants of western African forests: a guide to the forest trees, shrubs and lianes from Senegal to Ghana. Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, United Kingdom. 1023 pp.
• Irvine, F.R., 1961. Woody plants of Ghana, with special reference to their uses. Oxford University Press, London, United Kingdom. 868 pp.
• Iwau, M.M. & Anyanwu, B.N., 1982. Anti inflammatory and anti arthritic properties of Terminalia ivorensis. Fitoterapia 53: 25–34.
• Katende, A.B., Birnie, A. & Tengnäs, B., 1995. Useful trees and shrubs for Uganda: identification, propagation and management for agricultural and pastoral communities. Technical Handbook 10. Regional Soil Conservation Unit, Nairobi, Kenya. 710 pp.
• Mbakwe, R.C., 1990. A note on the yield of Terminalia ivorensis in Umuaguro, Nigeria. Journal of Tropical Forest Science 3(1): 88–89.
• Neuwinger, H.D., 2000. African traditional medicine: a dictionary of plant use and applications. Medpharm Scientific, Stuttgart, Germany. 589 pp.
• Normand, D. & Paquis, J., 1976. Manuel d’identification des bois commerciaux. Tome 2. Afrique guinéo-congolaise. Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Nogent-sur-Marne, France. 335 pp.
• Oni, O., 1990. Fruit abortion in a West African hardwood, Terminalia ivorensis. Journal of Tropical Forest Science 2(4): 280–285.
• Phongphaew, P., 2003. The commercial woods of Africa. Linden Publishing, Fresno, California, United States. 206 pp.
• Siepel, A., Poorter, L. & Hawthorne, W.D., 2004. Ecological profiles of large timber species. In: Poorter, L., Bongers, F., Kouamé, F.N. & Hawthorne, W.D. (Editors). Biodiversity of West African forests. An ecological atlas of woody plant species. CABI Publishing, CAB International, Wallingford, United Kingdom. pp. 391–445.
• Sosef, M.S.M., Boer, E., Keating, W.G., Sudo, S. & Phuphathanaphong, L., 1995. Terminalia L. In: Lemmens, R.H.M.J., Soerianegara, I. & Wong, W.C. (Editors). Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 5(2). Timber trees: Minor commercial timbers. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands. pp. 474–492.
• Vivien, J. & Faure, J.J., 1985. Arbres des forêts denses d’Afrique Centrale. Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique, Paris, France. 565 pp.
Sources of illustration
• Liben, L., 1983. Combretaceae. Flore du Cameroun. Volume 25. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. 97 pp.
• Vivien, J. & Faure, J.J., 1985. Arbres des forêts denses d’Afrique Centrale. Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique, Paris, France. 565 pp.
• Voorhoeve, A.G., 1979. Liberian high forest trees. A systematic botanical study of the 75 most important or frequent high forest trees, with reference to numerous related species. Agricultural Research Reports 652, 2nd Impression. Centre for Agricultural Publishing and Documentation, Wageningen, Netherlands. 416 pp.
E.G. Foli
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), University P.O. Box 63, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana

R.H.M.J. Lemmens
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
D. Louppe
CIRAD, Département Environnements et Sociétés, Cirad es-dir, Campus international de Baillarguet, TA C-DIR / B (Bât. C, Bur. 113), 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
A.A. Oteng-Amoako
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), University P.O. Box 63, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana

Correct citation of this article:
Foli, E.G., 2009. Terminalia ivorensis A.Chev. In: Lemmens, R.H.M.J., Louppe, D. & Oteng-Amoako, A.A. (Editors). Prota 7(2): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 2. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.
Distribution Map wild

1, base of bole; 2, flowering branch; 3, flower; 4, fruiting branch.
Redrawn and adapted by Iskak Syamsudin