What Is Acacia Wood?

Written by hans fredrick
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What Is Acacia Wood?
The acacia tree has been known since biblical times. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Acacia is a species of hardwood. There are more than a 1,000 varieties of this tree, and the wood from different varieties is better suited to different purposes. The tree is native to Australia, and grows in parts of Asia, Africa and in the Americas. Acacia is a hardwood, so it is suitable for building long-lasting items such as furniture.

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Appearance

Acacia is prized in furniture making for its durability and for its appearance. It has properties that make it an attractive wood when it is finished and built into fine furniture. This has a great deal to do with its grain, which is said to be "flame-like" in appearance. The wood can actually change its colour when different light is shone on it. Chatoyancy is not a common property in wood, making acacia all the more valuable for fine furniture.

Water Resistant

Acacia wood is an extremely durable hardwood. While some woods are easily permeated by water, which causes them to warp and rot, acacia is not. In fact, acacia wood can be cleaned using water, and the wood is so dense that the water won't permeate it and cause damage. It is said that even if acacia wood hasn't been treated or protected in any way that it still lasts up to 40 years.

Overall Durability

Overall, acacia is a durable wood. It is not prone to scraping, which means that it can withstand even hard use and does not need to be coddled. It is also resistant to fungus. This helps avoid rot and improve overall durability. In Slovakia, they rate acacia as the No. 1 most durable wood that grows in the country. Acacia extract is used to improve the durability and fungal resistance of other, cheaper types of wood.

Religious Symbolism

Acacia also has a great deal of religious importance attached to it. It is a wood that is mentioned specifically within the pages of the Bible. One of the more famous references comes from Exodus, where it is mentioned that the Ark of the Covenant was to be built out of acacia wood. The Sacred Tabernacle is also said to have been constructed out of acacia.

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