Ocotea spathulata is an evergreen tree; it can grow up to 13 metres tall. The bole can be 45cm in diameter with narrow buttresses at the base of larger trees[
This tree produces the most unusual and perhaps the most attractively figured commercial wood of Puerto Rico. It has been widely exploited from the wild, to the point where there are few large trees left that are large enough to exploit[
Caribbean - Puerto Rico, Cuba.
Forests at medium elevations, ascending to the dwarf forests of mountain peaks[
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The highly variegated heartwood ranges from light pinkish brown to yellowish brown and greenish brown and has dark brown to black stripes, spots, or irregular lines - this intermingling of darker and lighter areas is so complete that no two pieces of heartwood are exactly alike; it is clearly demarcated from the wide band of uniform sapwood, which is yellowish brown near the outside and pinkish brown toward the wide interior. The texture is fine; grain generally interlocked; lustre medium; without discernible taste or aroma once seasoned. The wood is hard, heavy, strong, but very susceptible to attack by dry-wood termites. Rate of air-seasoning and amount of degrade are moderate. The wood is moderately difficult to work but polishes satisfactorily. Machining characteristics are as follows: planing is only fair, with considerable pickup and tearing; shaping, turning, boring, sanding, and resistance to screw splitting are good; and mortising is excellent. It is used for furniture, but few remaining trees are large enough to produce lumber of good size. It is suitable for furniture, cabinet making, paneling, turnery, boat planking, farm implements, handles, heavy construction, and bridges[
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