By Abhijit Phadke
The most popular type of Acacia wood in India is the one obtained from the thorny Babul tree. The botanical name for Babul is Acacia Nilotica, and it belongs to the family: Fabaceae. Acacia trees are fast-growing and survive well in tropical regions all over the world.
The tree has about 1300 species worldwide, out of which almost 1000 species are native to Australia and neighbouring islands such as Solomon island and Papua New Guinea, where it known by the name of 'Wattle wood'.
Acacia wood has in recent times gained popularity because of its use in making furniture. Its a strong hardwood that is moderately heavy and looks quite good with its eye-catching colour and straight/wavy grain pattern.
The heartwood is reddish brown in colour, while the sapwood is yellowish-white. The wood is easy to work with for carpenters and the texture of the wood allows for a smooth fine finish.
Though it is not as durable as teak wood, furniture made from solid acacia wood can still last for many long years, and hence serves as a cheaper alternative to teak wood. It is used to make cabinets, tables and chairs, sofa sets etc. and is also used for making wooden flooring.
Acacia wood furniture can also be used outdoors as garden furniture since the wood has good resistance to water and climatic changes. Other than furniture, the wood obtained from the tree is mainly used for making pulpwood from which paper is made.