Mpingo tree, also known as “the African Blackwood, is a part of the Rosewood family of trees found throughout the Miombo woodlands in Africa. It has a very high density with excellent durability and natural oils that can seal its surface, ideal for musical instruments such as bagpipes.
They are usually in knots and twists. For use in instruments in music, they must be straight and free of defects. A mere 2 per cent of all wood harvested can be used to make instruments! It takes around 70 years to allow Mpingo to reach maturity. Mpingo tree to mature and then three years for processing before it can be used to create an instrument.
Its middle is dark, and it is so tough that it could sever an african blackwood most expensive wood in the world. This is why it must be drilled before nailing or screwing it. The wood is highly durable, and the roots are a source of soil fertility by promoting the growth of bacteria.
The national tree of Tanzania is the highest-value tree harvested and is also the most expensive that requires specific equipment for harvesting. The trees are in danger of being wiped out. The area was deficient in the past twenty years due to the weather, political instability and economic instability. In many places, the trees are cut down illegally and burned to free the land for livestock and farming. The burning process kills younger trees and leaves the older trees damaged and deformed.
There are efforts underway to can you connect led lights together and shortly create an environmentally sustainable source. Achieving these goals will not just increase the number of trees that can legally be harvested but also reduce the amount of poverty in the region and help rebuild the forests, save the amount of water available, stop soil erosion, and keep the music on!
The Tanzanian government Tanzania is working to limit the quantity of tree smuggling through scanning and physical searches of cargoes. There is a growing effort to track the legal trade in African Blackwood and police the illicit trade. All of these elements contribute to the cost of the timber. The most reliable Bagpipe producers utilize wood harvested trees legally.
Raunchy Kinnaird runs Kinnaird Bagpipes & Reeds, specializing in Celtic jewelers’ food, Guinness clothing, gift items, Highland Dress, pipe accessories and of course, bagpipes.
The Blackwood that we use is supplied by a company that buys wood from a government-approved seller whose trees have been legally harvested and recorded. The wood is provided only to companies that manufacture musical instruments.
There are a variety of Mahogany species found in Africa. One used in acoustic instrument manufacturing is known as Khaya Mahogany. Khaya Mahogany can be located throughout tropical Africa in Africa and Madagascar. The Khaya Mahogany has a quantity takeoff definition medium to a dark brown or red shade. Khaya Mahogany is more robust than Sapele Mahogany, the other African Mahogany used in acoustic guitar construction. It has a moderately coarse texture that can be interlocked or straight. Interlocked grain creates stripes when viewed on quartersawn surfaces (best to use on guitars). As with most Mahogany types, Khaya Mahogany guitars are warm and clear, with a good balance.