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What Is Sheesham Wood And What Makes It Different?

What is Sheesham wood?

Sheesham is a deciduous tree found in the Indian subcontinent. It is mostly grown in theHimalayan Region that extends from River Indus to Assam. Sheesham Forests are also found inWest Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. Other names that are used to refer to Sheesham include;Dalbergia Sisso, Indian Rosewood and Shishan among others.​


Sheesham wood is the second most valuable wood in India after Teak. This is due to itsnumerous applications apart from supplying timber. It is planted along canals, tea plantations and even roadsides.​

Via devin.berg

The tree best grows on altitudes of 900 meters above sea level and in temperatures that range from 10°C to 40°C. With regards to rainfall, Sheesham withstands up to 2,000 mm and drought duration of not more than four months. It flourishes in gravel or sandy soils.​

Characteristics of Sheesham Wood​


Sheesham woods’ color ranges from golden to dark brown with a lustrous appearance, some maybe reddish brown with interlocked dark grains. The texture variesfrom course to medium


The wood is hard thus resistant to insects like the wood termites. Again itdoes not split or warp; a reason why it’s most suitable for making furniture.Consequently, it’s decay resistant. The only downside is that it attracts wood-boringbeetles thus should be checked often to ensure its free of beetles or beetle eggs.


When working, this wood responds well to machinery. The wood is heavyand dense making it suitable for durable furniture and carvings.​

Benefits of Sheesham wood

Via Megan Cheetham

  • Because its hard wood, Sawing Sheesham Wood may be slightly challenging this though makes it good for turnery
  • It has a smooth finish and shines on polishing. Hand waxing gives It a smooth finish
  • It’s very durable and offers resistance to wood termites. It also doesn’t split nor warp; a reason why it’s preferred for cabinets and furniture.
  • In India, it’s a popular wood for engraving and wood carving because it’s resistant to decay. It also makes doors and windows with its root making tobacco pipes
  • Sheesham Wood is also essential in aircraft and marine applications. It consequently makes musical instruments, sporting goods and or namental turnery

​What makes Sheesham different from others?

Compared to other types of wood e.g. heartwood and Parawood, Sheesham distinguishes itself because of the following;​

  • It’s denser with smooth and attractive surfaces that do not scratch or corrode easily
  • Sheesham is cheaper compared to other types of wood like Teak
  • Its color is reddish or golden brown while the rest are mostly white, brownish white orpale
  • With wood grains and double colors, it looks more exquisite
  • It has low resistance to water due to its lower oil content

Because of the above features, Sheesham wood has gained international recognition. Its furnitureis quality, decay resistant, cheaper and can last for generations. Other than furniture it also makes veneers, boats, plywood, musical instruments et cetera.

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