What Is a Mahogany Tree?

Save

The mahogany tree is also called "Swietenia mahagoni" and "West Indies mahogany," and it grows natively in North America and the Caribbean. It is a popular landscaping tree in the warmer parts of North America. People grow mahoganies for shade around the house and also use the trees for their strong wood.

Physical Appearance

  • Mahogany trees grow up to 75 feet tall and spread as wide as 50 feet. However, their average height is closer to 50 feet. The trees have large round canopies, which provide shade while still allowing enough light for grass to grow underneath. Young mahogany trees have gray bark, and older ones have scaly reddish brown bark. Mahoganies keep their leaves year-round, except in areas with extreme droughts. They grow green flowers, which are not very noticeable or decorative.

Uses

  • People use mahogany trees to add some greenery to the home landscape, to provide shade and for their hard wood. In poor countries, people also cut them to use their wood as fuel. Their wood has a rich color and is very durable, which makes mahogany furniture popular and valuable. Since it tolerates a wide range of soil types and salt spray from the ocean, gardeners who live in coastal areas or areas with poor soils favor the tree.

Geography

  • Swietenia mahagoni grows natively in areas of the Caribbean, including Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti and the Bahamas. In the U.S., it grows natively in Florida. Nowadays, it also grows in India, the Philippines, Fiji, parts of Northern Africa, Puerto Rico and Indonesia, because humans introduced the tree to new places. It grows in USDA plant hardiness zones 10b through 11, which have minimum winter temperatures of 35 and 40 F, respectively.

Care

  • The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences suggests planting mahogany in areas with good water drainage and rich soil. Fertilization also helps the trees grow in poorer soils. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences also recommends pruning young mahoganies to make sure they have just one central trunk, rather than multiple leader stems, which helps the tree to remain stable during storms.

Concerns

  • Mahogany trees have problems with several pests, including mahogany web worms, mahogany shoot borers, coffee tree beetles and caterpillars. The tree is also endangered, because people cut so many of them down to use their wood.

Related Searches

References

  • Photo Credit Mahogany Bridge image by Ray Kasprzak from Fotolia.com
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • Mahogany Wood Facts

    Mahogany trees grow in tropical climates, primarily in Central America, Africa and the Philippines. Each location produces a different sub-species of mahogany...

  • What Type of Tree Is Mahogany Wood?

    Mahogany, one of the world's most treasured woods, comes from the mahogany tree. Many people think of mahogany as one of the...

  • Mahogany Tree Facts

    Mahogany trees are native tropical or rain forest trees found mostly in Africa and Latin America. The wood is extremely popular for...

  • How to Grow a Florida Mahogany Tree From the Seed

    The Florida mahogany tree, scientifically known as swietenia mahogani, is the only species of mahogany tree used in the Florida landscape. With...

  • How to Plant a Mahogany Tree

    The mahogany tree (Swietenia macrophylla) is one of nature's larger specimens. Mature trees can reach heights of 150 feet and boast trunks...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Make a Vertical Clay Pot Garden

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!