Is Acacia Wood Sustainable? Acacia Uses, Properties & Care Guide (2024)

There’s much debate over what makes a sustainable woodworking material. Some people swear by teak, while others prefer bamboo. But what about acacia? Is it sustainable?

As more and more people adopt a more sustainable way of life, there is an increasing interest in how genuinely sustainable different materials are. So, if you’re wondering if acacia wood is a good choice, this guide is for you!

Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of acacia wood and decide for yourself if it’s worth using in your next woodworking project:

Uses of Acacia Wood

Acacia, like other wood varieties, serves various purposes. Let’s explore some of its most common uses.

1. Acacia Wood for Furniture

Acacia is a beautiful hardwood that’s often used in furniture making. It’s praised for its unique grain pattern and rich, dark color. And since it’s such a durable wood, Acacia wood furniture can last for generations with proper care.

Acacia wood chopping board with a silver knife and fork, wrapped in natural fabric

2. Acacia Wood for Flooring

Another popular use for Acacia wood is flooring. It’s becoming increasingly popular in homes and businesses due to its durability and unique look. Acacia floors are also easy to care for and can last with proper maintenance.

3. Acacia Wood for Musical Instruments

Acacia wood is also used in the construction of musical instruments. Many drums are made from acacia and guitars, and other stringed instruments. The wood is prized for its resonance and ability to produce a clear sound.

4. Acacia Wood for Construction

While acacia plywood roofing sheets are not common in the U.S, the wood is still used in construction. For example, it’s often used in decking, porch posts fencing, and other outdoor structures. The wood is durable and weather-resistant, making it a good choice for these projects.

Is Acacia Wood Affordable?

Marple and oak are more expensive than Acacia due to their high demand and lower availability. However, teak is more expensive than Acacia which is highly comparable.

When comparing Acacia and teak, Acacia is the cheaper option. Harvesting Acacia costs less than harvesting the same volume of teak. It also offers growers two products to sell – the wood itself and gum arabic. In addition, because Acacia contains less oil, it must be coated with wax to improve its longevity.

Because the quality of Acacia and teak is nearly comparable, some vendors fraudulently market Acacia as teak to gain a larger profit. A blacklight can be used to inspect the wood. Usually, Acacia will glow under the light.

Acacia wood - Acacia trees growing an arid conditions, with many branches that are twisted and knotted

The main disadvantage of Acacia wood is that it grows a lot of branches, which makes it quite a knotty material. In addition, corners may be more prone to this type of damage because they are typically impacted by strain during milling.

The grain in these areas might be broken, restricting the use or sale of the part. Because of this, the value of the log is increased.

What Does Acacia Wood Look Like?

Acacia wood varies in shape and pattern due to the irregular grain pattern, which can be straight or wavering, and the wide range of hues it includes, from pale amber to deep mahogany. However, the wavy grain patterns might be a disadvantage since they are simple to damage when the wood is sliced.

The rustic appeal of the wood adds to its natural beauty, making it perfect for simple yet timeless furnishings that go with any design style – from shabby chic to classic and elegant. In addition, Acacia’s color does not fade as quickly as teak, and it is less likely to change with time, although furniture in bright sunshine or left outside is likely to show some fading.

Acacia wood planks, showing the grain and texture
Acacia wood grain and texture

The color variances, irregularities, and knots may provide beauty to the flooring or furniture, though others may find it distracting and showy. Use walnut, Marple, bamboo, or pine if you want consistency.

How to Take Care of Acacia Wood

Acacia is a naturally hard and durable wood, perfect for indoor and outdoor use. However, like all wood furniture, it needs to be properly cared for to keep it looking its best.

Tips on how to care for Acacia wood furniture:

  • Dust the furniture with a soft, dry cloth. For very dirty furniture, you can use a damp cloth, but be sure to dry it immediately afterward.
  • Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on wooden furniture, as this can damage the finish.
  • If the furniture is used outdoors, it should be brought inside during extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rains or snowstorms.
  • When storing wooden furniture, make sure it is in a cool, dry place.
  • Acacia wood furniture can be refinished if it becomes scratched or damaged. However, it’s best to leave this task to a professional.
  • Do not place Acacia furniture near fireplaces, radiators, or other heat sources, as this can cause the wood to crack.

How to care for acacia wood - image of brush with varnish or oil being painted onto faded wood

Why Choose Acacia for Furniture?

1. Affordability

It is a shrub with aromatic spines that grow in abundance in Asia, India, and the Middle East and is a noxious weed in Australia. Gum arabic, which is made from the hardened tree sap of the sugar cane plant, is harvested in plantations. Gum arabic is used to make medicines, soft drinks, and outer coatings for “hard” sweets like M&Ms.

2. Durability

Acacia wood furniture is a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor use. When properly cared for, Acacia furniture can last for many years.

3. Sustainability

Acacia wood is a sustainable resource, and has little negative impact on the environment when harvested from properly managed forests.

4. Natural Beauty

The unique grain pattern and wide range of colors found in Acacia wood make it a beautiful material for furniture. As a result, each piece of Acacia furniture is truly one-of-a-kind.

5. Usability

Acacia wood furniture is easy to care for and maintain and will last many years if properly cared for. Take a look at this video by Aideas Home to learn more about what makes it so durable:

Acacia Wood Disadvantages

1. Knotty Material

The main disadvantage of Acacia wood is that it grows a lot of branches, which makes it quite a knotty material. In addition, corners may be more prone to this type of damage because they are typically impacted by strain during milling.

The grain in these areas might be broken, restricting the use or sale of the part. Because of this, the value of the log is increased.

2. Wavy Grain Patterns

The wavy grain patterns might be a disadvantage since they are simple to damage when the wood is sliced.


So, is Acacia sustainable? Yes! Acacia is a sustainable wood that can be replanted and harvested without damaging the environment. It’s also biodegradable, meaning it won’t harm the environment when it’s eventually disposed of.

If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly wood for your next project, Acacia is a great choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Acacia wood good for the environment?

Yes. Acacia wood is one of the most environmentally-friendly woods you can use! It's sustainable, meaning it can be replanted and harvested without damaging the forest if it is properly managed. It's also biodegradable, so it won't harm the environment when it's eventually disposed of. Check out the full guide for more on the sustainability of Acacia wood.

What is the most environmentally friendly wood?

As there are so many types of wood, there is no certain answer to this question. The sustainability of each type depends on various factors, including how it was harvested and what kind of maintenance it requires. With that said, some woods are considered more environmentally friendly than others because they come from sustainable sources, are easy to maintain, or release fewer toxins into the environment.
Popular sustainable woods include bamboo, cork, eucalyptus, and reclaimed lumber. Bamboo is a great choice because it grows quickly and abundantly without damaging the environment. Cork is another excellent option because the bark can be harvested without harming the tree, and it's very durable and water-resistant. Check out the full guide to learn more.

Is Acacia wood biodegradable?

Yes, acacia wood is biodegradable. Acacia wood is a fast-growing hardwood often used for construction, furniture, and other applications because it is strong and durable. However, it also has the benefit of being biodegradable, which means that it will decompose and return to the earth over time. This makes it a sustainable choice for many applications. Read the full guide to learn more about the properties of Acacia wood.

What is so special about Acacia wood?

Acacia wood is prized for its strength, durability, and beauty. It has been used in furniture making for centuries and is especially popular in culinary applications due to its strong character (it doesn't absorb flavors or odors). Acacia is also prized for its ecological stability - it's not a resource that will disappear anytime soon. Read the full guide to learn more about the benefits of Acacia wood.


Independent UK: The Good Wood Guide: Eco-Friendly Options for Furnishing Your Home

MDPI: Sustainable Management of Acacia auriculiformis Plantations for Wood Production over Four Successive Rotations in South Vietnam (Pdf)

Start Woodworking Now: What is Acacia Wood? 5 Interesting Facts You Should Know

Urbanara: Acacia Wood

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