Cocobolo – The Underground Story


On a recent trip to Central America to purchase cocobolo for West Penn Hardwoods, Rocky was happily surprised to discover an area where the cocobolo stumps have grown vertically along and under the ground! It seemed as though wherever a cocobolo tree had been cut down, the stump sprouted new shoots that not only grew up but also vertically.

Sprouting Cocobolo Shoots

Over time the lower branches were covered with sand, water and other sediment and only recently did our supplier discover this untapped stash of old growth cocobolo. It seems that during the rainy season the trees may become water logged and bend with the weight of the water. They continue to grow along the ground and can only be harvested during the dry season. We have found this cocobolo to be some of the most beautiful we have seen yet…maybe the exposure to water has deepened the color and grain? We have been able to get ahold of some really nice large cants that have been resawn into turning stock, pen blanks and of course, lumber. Some of the material is left in cant form for luthiers who want to buy to to make guitars.

Underground Cocobolo

They also found old growth cocobolo which was left over from a fire and was buried under the sand. These logs were most likely the leftovers from a planned fire to clear land for farming which is common in this region. The logs looked quite ugly on the outside, but when they were cut open the richness of the color and figure were incredible. This material was mainly sold to luthiers for guitars because of the unique color and quality.


Hopefully Rocky will continue to find these unexpected treasures in the jungles around the world!