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Castor aralia Acanthopanax ricinofolius
WEAK ASH-LIKE HARDWOOD USED FOR PLY
Castor aralia is very similar to ash in color, texture and grain pattern, but it lacks the whippy qualities that make white ash (Fraxinus Americana) or European ash (F. excelsior) popular for tool handles and sports equipment. Nor is it rated as highly as ash for steam bending to make furniture. With some resemblance to red elm (Ulmus rubra), castor aralia has a coarse texture and straight grain, and can be finished to a good luster. It shrinks considerably during seasoning and will continue to move and twist once dry. Being weaker than ash species and not particularly durable, it tends to be used mainly for interior trim and plywood.

KEY CHARACTERISTICS
Type Tropical hardwood
Other names Kalopanax pictus, Kalopanax septemlobus, Japanese ash, sen
Sources Japan, China, Korea, Sri Lanka
Color Creamy beige, with very little difference between sapwood and heartwood
Texture Coarse, with uneven earlywood and latewood grain
Grain Straight
Hardness Moderate
Weight Medium (36 lb./cu. ft.) (580 kg/cu. m)

AVAILABILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY
Generally used for plywood and interior trim, castor aralia is moderately priced for a hardwood. There is no evidence of its being endangered, nor of certified supplies being available.



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Updated: 06/2017   copyright 2011 Rowecraft