Scientific Name:

Shorea spp. (Family: Dipterocarpaceae)  

General Description:

There are about 13 species of Shorea classified under Balau in Malaysia. This timber is one of the most commonly used heavy hardwoods in the country. The trees are medium-sized to very large and grow up to 75m tall.  

Timber Description:

  • Density: 850 - 1,155 kg/m3
  • Heartwood: yellow - brown, brown or red, darkening to darker brown, purple-brown or dark red-brown
  • Sapwood: fairly distinct, lighter in colour.

Spot Characters:

  • timber is very heavy
  • vessels fine and numerous
  • vertical canals in long tangential series, filled with white resin parenchyma aliform
  • end cut with metallic cluster
  • tyloses abundant  


The timber is suitable for all forms of heavy construction, bridges, wharves, railway sleepers, power-line poles, boat building, door and window frames, joists, beams, rafters, heavy duty flooring, parquet flooring and heavy duty furniture.