You may have heard of decks made with IPE. You may have heard people gush about their durability and resilience. So what is it?
IPE (aka Ironwood) is one of the commercial names for a group of trees from the species Tabebuia. The trees typically grow from about 140-150 feet, but can reach heights of up to 200 feet. They can be found in Central and South America, but primarily grow in Brazil.
IPE’s tough, resilent properties have given it increasing popularity in the decking and outdoor furniture world. Along with being incredibly durable, it’s also naturally resistant to decay, wet conditions, and infestation by termites and borers. Additionally, it has a Class A fire rating-the same rating given to concrete and setel.
IPE’s heartwood is olive brown to black, and tends to feature striping. Its sapwood is much lighter, usually white or yellow.