Asia is home to many species of wood trees, each with its own unique wood type that makes it useful for a variety of products for us to use. Teak wood and Rosewood or Sheesham wood are two such trees, each prized for its wood and yet different in many ways. What are these differences? Let's take a look:

Origin and type of wood:

Teakwood belongs to the Tectona grandis species and originates in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Burma, and on African and Caribbean plantations. Sheesham or Indian Rosewood belongs to the Dalbergia sissoo tree species. Like teakwood, these trees to are deciduous in nature and their wood is hardwood. These trees are grown largely in India and southern Iran.


Teakwood is prized for its smooth grain and texture. It is yellowish-brown in color that matures to a silver-grey finish. It has a lot of oil, tight grain and is extremely tensile. Sheesham is essentially a type of rosewood and is generally known as Indian Rosewood. It is sourced from the Dalbergia sissoo species of trees. Its heartwood ranges from golden brown to a russet red and its sapwood from white to a mix of pale brown and white. Its grain is straight but it can also be interlocked. Its wood texture is medium to coarse and it has an inherently good sheen.

The density of wood:

Teak wood is known to be a much harder type of wood than Sheesham wood.
Amount of water present in the stem: Teak does not have much water in its stem, though Sheesham does. For this reason, teak is water-resistant while Sheesham is not and needs to have its surface coated to become water-resistant.

Amount of oil present in the stem:

Teakwood is rich in oil present in the stem, making them unlikely for use as fuel. Teak trees generally grow in low humidity and temperature areas, making them drier. Sheesham does not have much oil in its stem, so the need to coat it with oil or any other lubricant is always felt so that it is not affected by water.

Resistance to decay and pests:

Teak is resistant to timber termites and other pests. However, Sheesham's sapwood is prone to woodboring beetles. Hence, any furniture made of Sheesham needs special care.


Teak is ideal for making all kinds of furniture, particularly doors, windows, window frames, cabinets, beams and columns, and certain medicines. Being rich in oil, it works well as material for making outdoor furniture since its inherent oils render it water-resistant, and equally so to fungi, rot, and mildew. For this reason, it is also good for making boats and boat decks. It also works well for indoor flooring, carving, veneer, turnings and small wood projects like cutting boards.

Sheesham is ideal for making cabinets and other kinds of furniture, plywood, and veneers. It is renowned for its durability and for being decay and dry-wood termite-resistant. It is also used to make flooring, carving, turning objects, agricultural tools, skis and for boatbuilding. It is also used as fuel and the tree is planted on roadsides and beside canals and as shaded areas at tea plantations, and fuel and toothbrushes. It is also successfully used to make percussion instruments, such as the Rajasthani Kartaal, because of the wood's resonance ability.


Though there are some differences between these two types of wood, yet both are strong, durable and long-lasting and have various uses. Either one can be chosen for a specific need and enjoyed for many years.


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