Zebrawood is a unique and beautiful type of hardwood that has captured the attention of designers, craftsmen, and homeowners alike. Zebrawood, also known as Zebrano or African Zebrawood, is a tropical hardwood that comes mostly from the central parts of Africa. It is characterized by its striking and unique appearance, with dark brown stripes against a light-colored background that resembles the pattern of a zebra’s coat.

History of Zebrawood

The origins of the name “zebra wood” come from this distinctive pattern. The tree itself belongs to the Microberlinia genus and can grow up to 40 meters tall. Historically, it has been used for a variety of purposes such as furniture making, decorative veneers in architecture and cabinetry, flooring, and more recently cutting boards.-

In ancient Egypt times (3000 BC), pharaohs would commission their most skilled carpenters to create stunning pieces made out of Zebrawood for royal palaces or tombs. This exotic wood was sometimes considered rare due to limited availability beyond its natural habitat in West Africa.

Today zebrawood remains highly sought after both for its aesthetic appeal and durability properties – it is naturally resistant to decay which makes it ideal for use in humid environments such as kitchens.

Attainment of Zebrawood

Zebra Wood comes from several different species of trees that grow in tropical regions around the world. The most commonly used tree for Zebrawood is Microberlinia brazzavillensis, which grows in West Africa.

Properties of Zebrawood

Physical Properties

Scientific NameMicroberlinia brazzavillenesis
Common nameZebra Wood, Zebrano
DistributionWest Africa
Tree Sizemaximum 66-134 tall and 4-5 feet diametre
Average Dry Weight52 lbs/ft3(807 kg/m3)
Janka Hardness1830 lbf
Specific Gravity67, 81
ShrinkageRadial 7.6%, Tangential 10.8%, Volumetric 17.8%,
Quick Analysis of Physical Properties


One unique feature of Zebrawood Trees is their striking black-and-white striped appearance on the inside of the trunk. This pattern develops as the tree ages, and it creates a beautiful natural design that’s highly sought-after by woodworkers and artisans alike.



In addition to their visual appeal, these Trees are also prized for their strength and durability. They’re able to withstand harsh environmental conditions like high humidity and extreme temperatures without rotting or warping over time.

Perfect for Making Different Items

These remarkable trees provide us with one of nature’s most stunning materials – perfect for creating everything from furniture and cabinetry to musical instruments and decorative accents.


These trees can grow up to 130 feet tall with trunk diameters reaching up to 4 feet. They have a straight, cylindrical shape and tend to be relatively free of branches until near the top.

Resistance Against Rot

It has a unique structure that makes it resistant to insects attack.


when someone works with Zebrawood it produces an unpleasant smell.


it has a coarse texture and open type of pores. it also contains wavy interlock grains.

Mechanical Properties

Zebrawood has a unique and impressive set of mechanical properties that makes it stand out among other woods. The wood is quite hard, dense, and heavy with a Janka hardness score of 1830 which makes it one of the hardest woods available. This property allows for durability when in use.it is a very special wood because of its amazing pattern of strips and streaks which resemble zebra-like. its texture interlocks grains with large pores…which make zebrawood porous.

1.Bending Property

It also has good strength characteristics, with excellent bending properties making it ideal for furniture construction such as chairs, tables, cabinets, and even flooring.

2.Low Shrinkage Rates

In addition to this, zebrawood is known for its stability due to low shrinkage rates. Hence this means that once dried properly by professional handlers or craftsmen who know how to handle hardwoods properly then the finished product will not warp easily over time

3.Interlocking pattern

Furthermore, the interlocking grain present on Zebrawood can make cutting difficult sometimes but careful planning before starting your project can help minimize problems while working with this beautiful hardwood.

These outstanding mechanical properties make Zebrawood highly valued among carpenters and artisans alike around the world.

Working Properties


Zebrawood is a unique and beautiful type of hardwood that is often used in furniture making, flooring, and cabinetry. Its working properties make it a popular choice for both professionals and hobbyists alike.

ii. Hardness

When working with Zebrawood, it’s important to note that the wood can be quite hard and dense. This means that cutting or shaping it may require more effort than other types of wood. However, its strength also makes it durable and long-lasting.

iii. Distinctive Patterns

One of the most striking features of Zebrawood is its distinctive grain pattern. The stripes created by the natural variations in color make each piece of zebra wood truly unique. To enhance this feature when working with zebra wood, many craftsmen choose to use techniques such as sanding or staining to bring out the full beauty of the grain.

iv. Tendency towards Splintering

Another aspect to consider when working with Zebrawood is its tendency towards splintering or chipping during cutting or sawing. It’s recommended to use sharp tools and take care not to apply too much pressure when handling this type of hardwood.

V. Easy to Cut

It is very easy to cut zebrano tres with the help of different tools even by hand tools like chisels, coping saws, and hand saws.

Despite some challenges associated with cutting and shaping due to its density, Zebrawood remains an excellent choice for many woodworking projects because it boasts both high durability as well as stunning aesthetics.

vi. Durability

One of its remarkable features is its durability. This type of wood is highly resistant to decay, rot, and insects. Zebra wood trees grow in hot and humid environments where they face various environmental challenges.

the durability aspect of this wood sets it apart from other types of lumber available in the market today. Its ability to resist decay, rotting and termites make it a fantastic investment for anyone looking for quality long-lasting products.

vii. Toughness

The toughness of wood comes from its natural oil content which makes it water-resistant. Also, this exotic hardwood has a tight grain structure that provides extra resistance against wear and tear.

viii. Resilience

Zebra wood’s resilience makes it an ideal choice for outdoor furniture, decking, flooring, and construction materials. It can withstand harsh weather conditions such as extreme heat or cold without losing its strength or beauty.

ix. Long Lifespan

Moreover, the durability factor also adds value to products made with as they have a long lifespan compared to other types of wood. The low maintenance requirements make it an affordable option for people who want high-quality products that last longer.

Steps involved in Working with Zebrawood 

1. Cutting

One of the most important aspects of working with Zebrawood is understanding how to cut it properly.

When cutting wood, it is important to use a sharp saw blade and keep your cuts as clean as possible. This will help prevent splintering or chipping along the edges of the board.

Another thing to consider cutting the wood is its distinct grain pattern. The dark stripes against the lighter background can make it difficult to see where you’re making your cuts. It’s recommended to mark out your cuts beforehand and take extra care during the cutting process.

It’s also important to note that it can be quite hard and dense, which may cause some difficulty when using hand tools like chisels or planes. Using power tools like sanders or routers may be more effective for shaping and smoothing this type of wood.


Tools used for cutting

  • Table Saw: It allows for precise and controlled cuts, especially for larger pieces of wood. 
  • Circular Saw: A circular saw is a handheld power tool. It is portable and offers flexibility for making straight or angled cuts with its fined toothed blade
  • Miter Saw:  it is also called a chop saw. It is special for making accurate crosscuts and miter cuts in zebra wood.
  • Jigsaw: it is useful for making curved or intricate cuts in zebra wood.
  • Band Saw: it is a type of tool that can make straight cuts, curved cuts, and intricate shapes in zebra wood. It has a continuous loop blade that moves in a vertical motion.
  • Hand Tools: For finer and more detailed work, hand tools like chisels, coping saws, and hand saws can be used to cut zebra wood

2. Preparation

Zebra wood is a beautiful and unique type of hardwood that is highly sought after for its striking appearance. However, before it can be used in any woodworking project, zebra wood must go through a process of preparation to ensure its quality and longevity.

First Step; Preparation of Dry Lumber

The first step in zebra wood preparation is to properly dry the lumber. This involves stacking and storing the freshly cut logs in a cool, dry place for several months. Once the moisture content has reached an appropriate level, the boards are ready to be milled.

Second Step; Cutting of Dry Lumber

Milling involves cutting the rough lumber into smaller pieces that are easier to work with. This also helps remove any defects or imperfections from the surface of the wood. 

Third Step; Sandling and Finishing

After milling, zebra wood typically undergoes a process of sanding and finishing to give it a smooth surface texture.

One important consideration when preparing zebra wood is its tendency to split or crack during drying or milling due to its high density and interlocked grain pattern. Therefore, care must be taken throughout every step of the preparation process to minimize damage and maximize quality.
Proper zebra wood preparation is essential for achieving optimal results in any woodworking project involving this unique material. With careful attention paid to each step of the process, zebra wood can be transformed into stunning finished products that showcase its natural beauty and durability.

The best finishing Oil

It is experimentally proved that a penetrating oil with driers like polymerized tung oil is a better-finishing oil for zebra wood

zebrawood Lumber

importance of zebra wood

  • Hardwood Zebra wood is a truly unique and exotic species of hardwood that has gained immense popularity in recent years. But beyond its striking appearance, zebra wood serves an important purpose in various applications.
  • Decorative Purpose
    One significant importance of zebra wood is its use as a material for flooring, furniture, decorative objects, and musical instruments. The natural beauty of the wood makes it ideal for creating high-end products that command attention. It’s also durable enough to withstand daily wear and tear while retaining its luster for many years to come.
  • Impressive Strength and Hardness
    As discussed above Another essential benefit of using zebra wood is its mechanical properties. This hardwood boasts impressive strength and hardness levels that make it suitable for heavy-duty construction projects such as decking or outdoor furniture making.
  • Anti Allergic
    Apart from being a reliable building material, Zebra Wood has also been used traditionally by indigenous people due to its medicinal properties like anti-allergenic properties which can help reduce allergies caused by dust mites or pollen grains.
  • Excellent designing
    The importance of zebra wood cannot be overstated when it comes to quality craftsmanship and design excellence. Its unique characteristics offer endless possibilities in architecture, interior design elements, and woodworking projects while providing long-lasting value with minimal maintenance over time.
  • Production of Furniture One popular use of zebra wood is in the production of furniture, particularly high-end items such as cabinets, tables, and chairs. It can also be used to create flooring, paneling, and veneer.
  • Resistant to Decay In addition to its aesthetic appeal, zebra wood’s hardness and resistance to decay make it a popular choice for outdoor applications such as decking and fencing. It’s also commonly used in musical instrument making due to its acoustic properties.

Cost of Zebra wood

One thing that makes zebra wood stand out is its unique and striking appearance. But with such a beautiful wood, does it come at a high cost? The answer is yes.

Zebra wood is considered one of the more expensive exotic hardwoods on the market today due to its rarity and demand. Its price can range from $12-20 per board foot, depending on the quality and availability in the market.

The cost of zebra wood may also vary based on where you purchase it. Local suppliers may have higher prices compared to online sellers due to transportation costs and overhead expenses.

It’s important to note that when purchasing zebra wood, it’s best not to skimp on quality as lower-grade woods may be cheaper but are more prone to defects such as warping or splitting.

Despite its high price tag, many still choose to invest in zebra wood for various reasons – whether it’s for its unique beauty or durability over time. It all comes down to personal preference and budget when deciding whether or not this exotic hardwood is worth the investment.

Side effect while working with Zebrano Wood

Zebra wood is generally safe to handle and use, however, there are a few considerations regarding its potential side effects

  • Skin irritation: Some individuals may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions when they come into direct contact with zebra wood. This can manifest as redness, itching, or rashes. If you notice any skin irritation after handling zebra wood, it is advisable to discontinue contact and seek medical advice.
  • Respiratory issues: Working with zebra wood, particularly when cutting or sanding, can generate fine wood dust particles that may become airborne. Inhaling these particles can potentially irritate the respiratory system, leading to symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, or difficulty breathing. It is essential to use proper protective measures, such as wearing a dust mask or respirator, and working in a well-ventilated area when handling zebra wood.
  • Eye irritation: Like many types of wood, zebra wood can release small wood particles or splinters during cutting or sanding. These particles may cause irritation if they come into contact with the eyes. Wearing safety goggles or protective eyewear can help prevent eye injuries when working with zebra wood.
  • Sensitivity to certain individuals:  While uncommon, some individuals may have a specific sensitivity or allergy to zebra wood. This can lead to more severe allergic reactions beyond skin irritation, such as respiratory distress or systemic reactions. If you have a known sensitivity to wood or other allergens, it is advisable to exercise caution when using zebra wood or consult a healthcare professional for guidance.


Zebra wood is a highly versatile and sought-after material that has many uses. Its unique appearance makes it an excellent choice for decorative purposes, while its strength and durability make it ideal for use in construction. Zebra wood is a valuable resource with many practical applications. Its distinct look adds character to any project while its durability ensures longevity. Whether you’re looking for a striking statement piece or sturdy building material, zebra wood is definitely worth considering


Zebra wood is easy to cut, therefore It is important for tool making, furniture, wooden parts of boats, and also making skis. As a tonewood, It is also good for making guitars also for sunglasses, flooring, and decorative items

zebra wood plant species are included as endangered species in some countries of the world. Therefore it is illegal to cut this type of wood

No, actually zebra wood is considered a medium-high range of hardwood. According to the Janka hardness rating which is a scale used to determine the hardness of the wood zebra wood is medium-high dense.

Scientifically zebrawood is called (Microberlinia brazzavillensis) and commonly zebrawood is called Zebrano. 

Microberlinia wood which is also called zebra wood is found in the countries of central Africa like Gabbon, Cameron, and Congo. The zebra wood has two kinds of wood like heartwood, which is pale yellow with a shade of golden color, and black and dark brown alternative strips or streaks.

It has a foul smell which is often like a barnyard  kind of odor

It is seen that zebrawood may change its color with the passage of time with a light straw-toned background which may change to amber color and its brown streaks change into dark black color

Ebiara, Berlinia Bracteosa, (or Red Zebra Wood) are different types of red zebra wood that grow in forests of  West Africa in Cameroon, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Ivory Congo, and the coast. It is common or local name is  Mposso in West Africa. The wood that is produced from these trees looks like a hybrid cross of Zebra wood and Bubinga.

Normally zebra wood is known as a sanitizer. Although it is seen that working with zebra wood could cause skin or eye irritation. For prevention use of dust masks, air filters, and respirator is compulsory

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