So far, humans have discovered that the fastest growing tree and the lightest wood in the world are called “balsa”. Balsa wood is originally produced in tropical regions of South America, and the material is very light. The appearance of the wood is similar to that of white pine or basswood. Dry balsa wood weighs only 6-8 pounds (2.7-3.6 kg) per cubic foot. Buoyancy is about twice that of cork, suitable for making lifebuoys and life jackets.

Tree trivia: What is the fastest growing tree in the world?
Tree trivia: What is the fastest growing tree in the world?

Due to its good elasticity, it is also an excellent shockproof material for packaging furniture and other items and manufacturing machine seat cushions. It also has good insulation properties and can be used as a heat insulation material for incubators, refrigerators and cold rooms, and is a good material for manufacturing and shipping solid carbon dioxide containers. It can also be used in the cockpit of an aircraft and to make models of aircraft and ships. Its roots were thick and long wood, and two people lifted it up and walked fast. Balsa wood is half lighter than cork oak made of cork, and is the lightest tree in the world. It weighs only 115 kilograms per cubic meter. A normal adult can lift balsa wood that is about 8 times its own volume or even more.

Balsa is the only evergreen medium tree in the family of Bombaxaceae and Balsa. A 10-year-old balsa tree can reach a height of 16 meters and a diameter of 150-160 cm. The leaves are broad and heart-shaped and grow alternately on the branches. The flowers are large, yellow and white in color, and are born in the upper layer of the canopy. It bears an oblong capsule with a squishy tuft and is composed of five fruit petals. The seeds are obovate, light red or brown, densely fluffy on the outside, like cotton seeds. Balsa wood is native to South America and the West Indies, and the locals call it “balsa”. “Balsa” means “raft” in Spanish. A raft made of light wood has a particularly large buoyancy and can carry more things.

Balsa wood

Species alias: balsa wood, balsa wood

Species Latin name: Ochroma lagopus Swartz

Branch Chinese name: Kapok Branch

Family Latin name: Bombacaceae

Chinese name of the genus: balsa

Latin name: Ochroma

Domestic distribution: cultivated in tropical regions of Yunnan and Taiwan

Overseas distribution: Indies, southern Mexico to Peru, Bolivia and other tropical low-elevation areas

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