Types of Wood used & Wooden Carving in Nepal
Types of wood used in Nepal
Local name: Champ
This tree is found throughout the eastern sub-Himalayan region, from Nepal to Assam and Burma. In Nepal it grows between 450 and 1500 meters in altitude and favours moist localities. This tree also occurs in the inner valleys of middle hills of Nepal and frequently occurs with Shorea Robusta (Sal) on rich soils. It can often be seen around temples.
Wood is considered to be a good timber and is used mainly for furniture. It is also used for making doors and windows. It is good for general carpentry. It is also used for light construction. The heartwood is a light yellowish to olive brown. It is straight grained and medium-fine-textured, somewhat lustrous with smooth feel. It is beautiful in its natural color and can also be polished easily.
Local Name: Devdar
The devdar is found throughout the Western Himalayas between 1200 and 3000 meters, being most common at about the 2200 meter level. It occurs naturally on mountainsides, even on very steep slopes and also in flat river valleys. It is large and very long lived evergreen tree with dark green, sometimes silvery foliage. The bark is greyish or reddish-brown with vertical and diagonal cracks dividing it into irregular shaped scales.
Wood is used for building, general carpentry and furniture. The timber is widely used for house construction in hilly areas.
Local Name: Gamar
This tree is found throughout India, Burma, Assam and sub-Himalayas. In Nepal the tree occurs from the Terai up to about 1200 meters, slightly higher in the west. It is an occasional tree of mixed deciduous forest, though it is sometimes found in evergreen forest and it also occurs in association with Shorea Robusta (Sal). It has cylindrical trunk with a tendency to low branching and a light open crown and under favourable conditions may reach a height of 25 meters.
Wood produces valuable timber. It is creamy white in color turning yellowish on exposure. The heartwood is highly durable and does not wrap or split. The white wood is used for planking, panels and general carpentry. It is very suitable for making the things for the interior of the house.
Local Name: Haldu
This tree occurs in the deciduous forests of India and Burma and in the sub-Himalayan tract. In Nepal it is fairly common in Terai and can be found up to about 1000 meters, sometimes a litter higher. It is usually associated with Shorea Robusta (Sal) and can be seen growing with this species. Haldu is a large deciduous tree with a thick spreading crown. The truck is often fluted at the base and occasionally buttressed. The bark is grey or brownish in color.
It is a fine close-grained wood. It is a clean, pale yellow wood of fine texture and can be easily cleaned and the timber also takes good polishing. It is durable and good for internal purpose. It is not recommended to use this timber for external purpose. The timber is used for furniture, building, boxes and also for agricultural implements
Local Name: Saj
This species previously known as Terminalia Tomentosa, is found commonly in Nepal from Terai up to about 1300 meters. It has a wide distribution in the Indian sub-continent and is also found in the sub-Himalayan region generally and in Burma. It is grown abundantly with Sal. It is large sized tree which can reach the height of 30 meters. This is a tall tree with clean trunk and a full crown. The bark is grey or blackish with deep vertical fissures.
It is a strong and tough timber. It is mainly used for house building such as beams, rafters, purlins, trusses, struts, columns and doors and window frames etc. It is also used for heavy packing cases and tea chest. It is also used for parqueting. It makes superior types of block board and first class general plywood. Sliced veneers are used for decorative panelling and high-class furniture.
Local Name: Sal/Agrath
Sal is a tree of the lower altitudes, being found in Nepal from the Terai to about 1200 meters. Its distribution range extends across the sub-Himalayan tract to Assam, and is generally confined to the outer valleys. In some places in the Terai there are large areas of pure Sal forest. Sal is a large deciduous tree, which seldom becomes quite leafless. If usually grows up to about 25 meters in height but in Terai may reach 30 or 40 meters. The bark of young trees is smooth, grey-brown and speckled. Older bark is dark brown, rough and deeply fissured.
Sal is one of the most important timbers in India and Nepal. It is used for building constructions and for any kind of works where strength and durability are the main criteria. The wood is also used in temples for carvings and for decorative beams and doors. This is the most widely used timber for any wood work in Nepal. Because of its beautiful color, it is also used for making furniture and even other small items of wood.
Local Name: Satisal
Trade Name: Rosewood
It is a large deciduous tree, in moist locations almost evergreen. It occurs in Terai, Bhabar and the Duns. It is found scattered in mixed hardwood forest. Once it was widespread in the Terai and Bhabar forests but most of those trees were logged for making bullock carts by villagers. Later most of the remaining trees were used for decorative construction works in cities. It has become a rare tree species.
The timber is hard, strong and tough. Though hard, rosewood works comparatively easily by hand and machine tools and can easily be brought to good finish. The timber turns well and good for carving. This timber is highly prized for high class furniture and cabinet making. It is famous as a decorative timber.
Local Name: Sisau
Sisau is found across the sub-Himalayan tract from the river Indus to Assam and in the Himalayan valleys from the Terai up to about 1500 meters. The bark is grey, longitudinally furrowed and on older trees it peels off in narrow strips. The young branches are covered with a grey down. The heartwood is golden brown to deep brown with darker streaks often showing attractive figure. It is hard and moderately heavy. The timber from foothills of Himalaya is superior to that of the plains.
It is very popular wood for furniture and cabinet making. It is suitable for all types of construction works. It is most popular wood for carving and engraving. The timber takes good polishing but due to its natural beautiful color it is seldom stained to darker shades. Next to Sal this timber is very widely used.
Local Name: Tuni
This tree is found in the sub-Himalayan region up to 1400 meters, usually in shady ravines along streambanks and even in swamps. It can be seen in Kathmandu where it has been planted in gardens and along streets. Tuni is quite large, attractive deciduous tree with a spreading crown. In most shady conditions the tree retains its leaves for a long time and is sometimes almost evergreen.
The timber is preferred for furniture. It is also used for doors and windows and ceilings. It is made into planks and interior boards. It is also used for carving and lighter constructions.