Sapele, wood2023-08-03T15:58:35+01:00


A member of the same genus as mahogany, Sapele has many of the same qualities, including colour and strength. It has become more popular as mahogany has become harder to obtain. 


Sapele can be FSC certified, being sourced from more environmentally sustainable areas and ensuring the species continues into the future. (ref)

– The wood is very durable, similar to Oak(ref) This means it will last longer than other woods in the garden.


– Sapele is classified as a vulnerable species by the IUNC. (ref) Meaning its continued use may lead it to become extinct.

– The trees are native to West Africa(ref) and will need to travel from this area, meaning the wood will use a fair amount of energy and fuel to arrive in the UK, and depending on the fuel type, this will release CO2 into the air. 

– Sourcing has been an issue in the past, before EUTR, most coming from illegal logging. Unless third-party certified, the wood may be obtained in a similar manner. (ref)

Sapele Summary

Whilst this wood is a durable material and can be sourced from an FSC-certified source, the fact it is vulnerable and needs to travel so far to get into the UK can be problematic for sustainability. Sapele is classified as a vulnerable species by the IUC meaning its continued use may lead to its extinction. Due to this, alternatives such as local Oak or Cedar may offer the same properties, but with less environmental damage.