What is Tigerwood?
Tigerwood is a Marketing Name.
Prior to the founding of TigerDeck LLC in 2001, Tigerwood was used as a marketing name for either Hawaiian Koa (cites listed) or African Lovoa Trichilioides (cites listed). For examples, see the pictures below.
TigerDeck® uses a very common specie, Astronium Spp, a tree that grows from Southern Mexico to Argentina. The success of TigerDeck® quickly motivated importers to buy the specie to sell in the USA. One importer decided to call this specie Tigerwood, and the name has stuck.
Prior to being called Tigerwood, Astronium had been used in the US for many years in cabinetry and, most famously, by Smith and Wesson for their high-quality hand gun grips. These grips were used with the local Spanish name for the specie, Goncallo Alves.
I have counted 21 local names for Astronium Spp, which is in the Cashew family and has 5 subspecies. All 5 subspecies have been used by TigerDeck®, as they share the same vital characteristics for use as an exterior deck board. These characteristics include an oily, resinous cell structure and an incredible resistance to mold, fungus, and insects. In Belize, Tigerwood is known as Jobillo; in Brazil, it is Muiracatiara; in Bolivia, it is Cuta Tigre; and so on with many ‘colorful’ names. A similar and comparable excellent exterior hardwood decking material is Ipe (Hanthroanthus Spp. formerly in Tabebuia genus). Ipe and Tigerwood are both excellent for exterior use in service because they share similar traits, but Ipe is a slow growing “climax” or old growth type specie with very thick cell walls. It is very difficult to kiln dry, but if air dried, it is a very stable exterior deck board.
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