Scientific name

Dryobalanops spp. principally D. aromatica. Family: Dipterocarpaceae

Other names

Kapor; Borneo camphorwood; keladan (Sarawak); kapoer (Indonesia); belakan; kamfer


  • Large hardwood to 45m.
  • Straight, cylindrical bole (trunk) and well-formed buttresses.
  • Bark is grey-brown or dark brown with shallow fissures.
  • Logs between 80–100cm diameter.
  • Freshly cut trees have a camphor-like odour.


  • Occurs in lowland tropical rainforests of Malaysia, Indonesia and South East Asia, often in almost pure stands.



  • Sapwood ranges from almost white to yellow-brown and is distinct from the heartwood.
  • Heartwood is red or red-brown.


  • Grain varies from straight to interlocked or spiral.
  • Texture is coarse but even.
  • Growth rings are absent.


  • Construction: stairways, flooring, general construction.
  • Decorative: plywood, furniture, joinery, lining.
  • Others: sawn shingles, packing cases, boat building, pallets, tool handles.


  • Density: 800kg/m3 at 12% moisture content; about 1.3m3 of seasoned sawn timber per tonne.
  • Strength groups: S3 unseasoned, SD4 seasoned.
  • Stress grades: F8, F11, F14, F17, (unseasoned); F11, F14, F17, F22, (seasoned) when visually stress graded according to AS 2082—2000: Timber—Hardwood—Visually stress-graded hardwood for structural purposes.
  • Joint groups: J2 unseasoned, JD2 seasoned.
  • Shrinkage to 12% MC: about 8% (tangential), 3.5% (radial).
  • Unit shrinkage: not available.
  • Durability above-ground: Class 2 (life expectancy 15–40 years).
  • Durability in-ground: Class 3 (life expectancy 5–15 years).
  • Lyctine susceptibility: sapwood is not susceptible to lyctid borer attack.
  • Termite resistance: not resistant.
  • Preservation: sapwood will impregnate with preservatives.
  • Seasoning: slow to dry, usually with very little degrade.
  • Hardness: moderately hard (rated 3 on a 6-class scale) to indent and work with hand tools.
  • Machining: machines well with moderate blunting of cutting edges caused by the presence of silica.
  • Fixing: pre-drill when nailing near extremities, otherwise nails and screws well.
  • Gluing: be careful when using urea-formaldehyde and phenol-formaldehyde adhesives.
  • Finishing: stains, paints and polishes satisfactorily.

Identification features

General characteristics

  • Sapwood: clearly distinct from heartwood.
  • Heartwood: red to red-brown.
  • Texture: coarse, uniform; grain varies from straight to interlocked or spiral.

Wood structure

  • Vessels: predominantly solitary, medium to large, visible to the unaided eye tyloses are common; vessel lines.
  • Parenchyma (soft tissue): apotracheal as irregular, spaced, concentric bands and some diffuse strands.
  • Rays: fine to medium, visible through lens.

Research and resources

  • Boland DJ, Brooker MIH, Chippendale GM, Hall N, Hyland BPM, Johnston RD, Kleinig DA and Turner JD 2006, Forest trees of Australia, 5th edition, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood Australia.
  • Bootle K 2005, Wood in Australia: Types, properties and uses, 2nd ed., McGraw-Hill, Sydney.
  • Ilic J 1991, CSIRO atlas of hardwoods, Crawford House Press, Bathurst, Australia.
  • Queensland Government, DAF 2018, Construction timbers in Queensland: Properties and specifications for satisfactory performance of construction timbers in Queensland. Class 1 and Class 10 buildings, Books 1 & 2, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Brisbane.
  • Standards Australia 2000, AS 2082—2000: Timber—Hardwood—Visually stress-graded for structural purposes, Standards Australia International, Strathfield, NSW.