Known by its common name in Latin America, Ipe is a species of tree belonging to the Handroanthus genus of the Bignoniaceae family.
These trees vary in color ranging from reddish-brown to a darker shade of blackish brown. They can also be of a tan or olive color. The plants bear flora of colors red to pink to even golden yellow.
Features of the Ipe Tree:
The characteristics of this plant resemble others of its genus. Some similar features include:
- Hard and dense wood
- Dichotomous branching
- Red to yellow inflorescence
- Elongated fruits
- Wind-pollinated thin seeds with two wings
- Leaves with various kinds of hairy outgrowths and scales
Ipe trees are mainly indigenous to the tropical expanses of rural, urban and suburban Latin America. Their growth area extends from Mexico, in Central America, to the southern part of South America.
Other countries can import the products of these trees that are available in the export market. As such, China, Bolivia, United Kingdoms, Portugal, Peru, and so on bring in the best produce from Ipe trees, the Ipe wood.
Uses of Ipe Tree Products:
Other than the general purpose of trees, which is to produce oxygen, Ipe trees bestow us with several items that have significant uses in day-to-day life.
The applications of the tree and its products include:
- Decoration: It finds application in decorative purposes, as an ornamental tree, in landscaping parks, gardens, public squares, boulevards, and so on due to the vibrant colors of its flowers.
- Furniture: Carpenters value the wood of the Ipe tree in furniture production due to its durable nature. They are exceptionally heavy and able to withstand adverse weather conditions. The wood is also safe from the infestation of insects. Hence, their utilization comprises window frames, doors, cutting boards, chairs, and table creation.
- Medical Purposes: Certain rumors claim that Ipe trees have medicinal properties that relieve symptoms of a few cancers, cure colds and fevers, alleviate body pain, etc. However, the credibility of them is low.
Ipe Wood in Decks and Boardwalks:
The primary interest of Ipe trees lies in their wood. The exotic hardwood of the plant is labelled to be of the finest quality as it is sturdy, heavy, insect resistant, resilient to rot and decay, thick and dense. Due to its nature suited for decking and boardwalk making perfectly, Ipe wood is in high demand in the United States of America and various other countries.
The benefits of using Ipe wood in decking and boardwalk making are as follows:
- The timber has tight fibers that can efficiently combat and counter water and humidity. Hence, there is hardly any mold growth on it.
- It is highly resistant to pests like termites, carpenter ants, creepy crawlies, etc.
- It is heat resistant and thus does not become too hot.
- It is low-maintenance; merely a thorough wiping suffices for a clean.
- Although it may be expensive initially, it is cost-effective in the long run as no upkeep, fixing or painting, and re-painting is required.
The quality of Ipe Decking can be so high that it can last up to fifty years without preservation or restoration. In other words, decking using Ipe wood is sufficient to last a lifetime.
Nowadays, Ipe decking services are also available over the internet via various websites. One such site is- https://buyipedirect.com.