What Is Balsa Wood

What is Balsa Wood?


One of the lightest and softens timber that you can find in the market is the Balsa.

Here are some characteristics of Balsa Wood:

  • This wood tends to have a high degree of buoyancy.
  • It is also a great material against heat and sound.
  • The Balsa wood can be used for a number of different needs where its properties will be useful.
  • The color of the Balsa wood is a white to an oatmeal hue.
  • It has a pinkish tinge near the heart of the log.
  • Most of the conventional materials though come from its sap.
  • The Balsa wood has a coarse and even texture, which is a result of its large and infrequent sap conducting vessels.
  • The Balsa wood is also the one that has a straight grain.
  • This tree is a fast-growing type which is a native of the tropical South and Central America. Its wood through is cultivated in the tropics.
  • The Balsa Wood can grow to 21 meters in height and has a diameter of around 0.5 meters within seven years.
  • This tree will mature at around 12-15 years. After that, this tree will slowly deteriorate.
  • It will be able to increase in density which can lead to the formation of hard and heavy wood and heartwood. This can then lead to it becoming waterlogged.
  • Due to the fast growth cycle of the Balsa wood then the quality and lightness of the lumber will vary. This will all depend on the age of the tree by the time it was cut.
How the Balsa Wood is harvested?

One of the best ways on how you are able to harvest the Balsa wood is by using the traditional method. This is down by chopping the tree down using an ax and hauling them to the nearby river.

The logs are then tied into rafts. These logs will then go down the river where the mill is located. Once the Balsa wood arrives at the sawmill then it will first be cut into large boards.

These boards will then be kiln dried. Once the drying is don then they will be prepared to be ship in different parts locations.

The final cutting of the board, as well as the finishing, will be done at the factory.

What makes the Balsa wood so light?

The reason why a Balsa wood is light can be seen only through a microscope. The cells that this three has are big and has very thin walls. This is the reason that the ratio of the solid matter to the open space is very small.

The Balsa wood has a solid volume that only consists of 40% of the entire tree. The Green Balsa wood is the one that contains five times more water by weight than the actual wood substance. This wood is far from the other hardwood that you can see in the market since it has more water in it.

This is the reason why the Balsa wood needs to be kiln dried properly to remove any excess water from it.

Where can you use the Balsa wood?

Despite the lightness of the Balsa word, it is still considered to be one of the strongest wood that you can have in the market. This is the very reason why it is a material of choice for caring model airplanes since the structure tends to be quite stiff.

This wood is also being used in model bridge construction. Builders often use them in the design and testing phase. Model bridges made from Balsa wood is also a great teaching playroom in schools. They are used in order to demonstrate woodwork, physics, and other related subjects.

The use of Balsa wood in model airplanes and bridges is important since it will help builders come up with the right design and materials for the final project. Balsa wood is also being used in ordered to create surfboards.


A wood that is lightweight yet strong is what the Balsa wood is all about. It can be one of your options once you are looking for a wood that has these properties. The Balsa wood has been used for some application and has proven its worth over the years. That is why if you are into creating model platforms or any other items that require a solid yet lightweight property then the Balsa wood is one of your best options.

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