Tali wood with the scientific name Erythrophleum ivorense, is a species of leguminous tree found in the depths of the rain forests of tropical West and Central Africa. The tree has many uses; the Tali timber is used mostly for heavy construction, also for making charcoal, and for firewood. The bark of the tali tree is used for tanning and also in traditional medicine, and both the bark and seeds are poisonous and are used for hunting.
Tali wood is very durable to fungi decay and is durable to dry wood borers.
The importance of Tali timber
Tali timber forms a bulk and one of the principal sources of income to the Cameroon government so too like other Cameroon timber products. Many construction industries use tali timber as a principal raw material.
Due to its very durable nature, tali wood is marketed both nationally and internationally.
Tali timber can be used for several applications such as:
Interior constructions: e.g. industrial or heavy flooring
Exterior constructions: e.g. building posts, stakes, bridges (making parts, not in contact with water or ground), sleepers, heavy carpentry, vehicle or container flooring
Tali timber can be used as a substitute for Azobe.
Processing of Tali logs for shipping.
Tali wood, just like any other forest timber, goes through a number of stages in its processing. The stages involved in the processing of tali wood ready for shipping may include the following:
Sawmilling: this refers to the process of operating a sawmill. Here a saw a hand or power tool or a machine used to cut hard material (such as wood, metal, or bone) and equipped usually with a toothed blade or disk is used to fell down the trees or to reduce them to suitable log sizes. Which are later transported for further processing.
Log sorting: on arriving at the saw mill’s storage yard, the tali woods are sorted and separated according to length, width, and quality, depending on the market requirement, end-use, and diameter.
Barking: When the sorting process is done, the next process involves the removing of the bark of the tali wood using specialized mechanical equipment found at the mill site. Such activities are usually carried out either by the use of manual labor or mechanized sorters.
Grading: this is a process that involves the segregation of the lumber according to the overall quality, direction of grain, presence of knots and defects and also their general appearance.
Drying: this is a process that is aimed at preserving the sawn timber in good and marketable conditions. This process involves two drying methods: air drying or kiln drying.
Air drying requires the stacking of the sawn tali timber in piles in the open or under sheds on suitably prepared ground, in such a way that the tali timber are exposed to a good flow of air until such a time that the required moisture content is attained.
Kiln drying, on the other hand, is a drying method whereby the sawn timber is piled to dry in a closed and controlled environment where temperature, air circulation, and humidity may be regulated so as to achieve the most economical drying conditions without resulting in degradation of the wood.
Regrading and surfacing:
Before stacking the sawn timber for storage, it is normally inspected for any defects which may have resulted during the drying process, such as split-ends, loose knots, etc., which may be removed by trimming and therefore upgrading its value.
Further upgrading may be effected by surface planing with the use of rotary knife planers or abrasive belts, according to the needs of the market.