The Acacia tree goes by many different names, but the quality of the furniture items made from its wood is always the same. Whether you prefer to call it a thorn tree, a wattle, or a mimosa, this Australian product is now growing throughout much of the world. There are over 1,300 species around the world, but it is the Babul variety that gets turned into outdoor patio items.
Babul Acacia wood is treated as an invasive species in Australia, but its growth in the Middle East, India, and Africa give it a hardness and density that makes it the perfect construction material. Since people often want to get rid of it, there is a high level of availability for this product as well. It comes with a Janka hardness rating of 2,300, making it 55% harder than hickory.
If you want to upgrade your backyard experience, then the pros and cons of Acacia wood outdoor patio furniture are worth considering today.
List of the Pros of Acacia Wood Outdoor Patio Furniture
1. It is a very affordable product.
The Babul variety of Acacia wood grows well in the Middle East, Asia, and India. Some of it grows in the wild, while some farmers take advantage of its fast-growing features to create tree farms with it. The sap from this tree is Arabic gum, which is useful in a variety of applications, including medicines and food products. Because there are two valuable products that come from one tree variety, the harvesting expenses are lower than they would normally be.
2. Acacia wood is a workable natural material.
The Babul variety of Acacia wood is also very pliable when it is freshly cut. You can shape it into a number of different items, including durable outdoor patio furniture. Once the created item starts drying, the surface becomes durable and hard. That’s why it is such a useful product for buffets, benches, chairs, and more. These qualities also make it possible to use Acacia for flooring without sacrificing the quality of the installation.
3. It can make long or short pieces with ease.
The height of the Acacia tree typically used for outdoor furniture items can be harvested at eight feet, but it can also grow up to 82 feet in height. If you want to incorporate a long bench, table, or buffet as part of your patio experience, then you can use a single slab approach to many of the desired items. The shorter cuts are perfect for various chairs, tables, and miscellaneous pieces that fill out your interior design plans.
4. The durability of Acacia wood is beyond compare.
Navies around the world used to build ships from Acacia wood because of how dense and hard the natural material is even after processing. If you need heavily use your outdoor patio furniture, then this product is the perfect material. When you properly maintain items made from the Babul, then the pieces you have at home can last for several decades. One investment can be all that you need when considering this option.
5. Acacia wood is a sustainable product to use.
With over 1,300 different varieties available, Acacia wood is accessible in almost every market of the world. If we take a specific look at Babul trees, then there are ways to make it an entirely sustainable product. Many farmers harvest the wood after they have used all of the sap from the tree, selling it for profit instead of burning it or creating mulch. Some of the trees are removed because they are a nuisance for other growing needs. Your outdoor patio furniture is an eco-friendly option that really is worth the investment because of this advantage.
Most of the Acacia trees only live for about 20-30 years. The root profile goes deeply into the soil, finding water that other plants are unable to obtain. That’s why they can grow in almost any conditions, including areas with extreme drought.
6. It is a scratch-resistant material.
Acacia wood is so durable that you rarely need to worry about your outdoor patio furniture scratching when you come into contact with the items. If you do have scratches appear, then a simple touch-up marker will usually correct the situation. You’ll want to test any repair materials on an unseen area of the surface to ensure that you have a complete match before proceeding. Even if there is a severe issue, a little wood filler and a new lacquer finish will usually create a stunning new surface to use.
7. There are varying grain patterns that can complete your look.
Acacia wood provides you with a lighter natural material than teak, which can be useful in situations where you need resilience without the bulk. Instead of a straight grain or one that barely exists, you’ll find varying patterns based on the cut, quality, and growing location of the wood. That means you get the long-term durability you want, the rot resistance you need for outdoor applications, and at a price you can afford.
This advantage allows you to enhance any interior design because it is such a unique element. Your outdoor patio furniture items will become the focal point of that space because the exotic look naturally grabs your attention.
8. You can choose from solid Acacia or engineered wood.
When you start shopping for Acacia wood outdoor patio furniture, you will discover that there are a couple of options available to you. Opting for the solid wood design is your best investment since the strength of the natural material will provide you with ongoing dividends for years to come. If your money is tight right now and a patio upgrade is necessary, then engineered Babul can help you to enjoy a variety of finishes, colors, and other design elements to enhance the space. There are even some laminate versions of this material that you might find to be useful.
List of the Cons of Acacia Wood Outdoor Patio Furniture
1. Acacia wood requires a high level of maintenance to keep its appearance.
You will want to wipe down your outdoor patio furniture with a slightly damp rag every day to remove any accumulated dust. Acacia wood is a living, breathing raw material that needs a lot of help to survive. You don’t need to worry about spilling water on the surface if there is a lacquer finish on the product, but you must maintain the integrity of the piece. Certain liquids, such as perfumes or alcohol, will pull moisture from the cells of the wood to create cracking over time.
You must avoid polishing products that contain silicone because it will dry out the Acacia wood over time. Detergents or cleaning products that contain ammonia must be avoided as well.
2. You must avoid areas with heat when using this natural material.
Acacia wood performs well in a temperate environment with a consistent climate. If you place outdoor patio furniture next to a heat source when it is made from Babul, then there is a significant risk of warping that occurs. You cannot place anything made from this natural material next to a fireplace, radiator, or heat vent. This disadvantage is possible even if you place the item in direct sunlight. The product is so sensitive that you’ll want to rotate your furniture periodically to ensure all angles receive the same amount of light and air exposure over time.
3. The furniture items will begin to darken.
When you expose Acacia wood items to light and air, then the light color of the original natural material begins to darken. That is another reason why rotating your outdoor patio furniture is a good idea. You will want to avoid setting hot dishes or drinks on tables or chairs made from this product because the darkening effect can occur underneath the object. If you thought coffee mug rings were difficult to remove, then imagine what a permanent dark spot on your new table would be like to manage.
Unless you perform occasional staining or oiling with your Acacia wood outdoor furniture, it will eventually weather to a dark gray color.
4. Affordable is only relative to your existing budget.
When you want a high-quality outdoor furniture item for your patio, Acacia wood is rather affordable when comparing it to similar items. You’ll spend about three times less on this material compared to teak while still receiving the same resiliency to outdoor environments. That still means you’re going to spend at least $500 on a set that can give you seating for four and a table. If you want a six-seat outdoor dining set, then expect to pay between $1,500 to $2,500 for that option.
5. There can be numerous defects and variations to the wood.
Acacia wood comes with numerous defects, including knots, that you will not find with hardwood products. The trees can grow fairly tall, but most of them get harvested when they are shorter and stubbier. It is not unusual for the trunk to twist when growing, even if there are supports in place that try to prevent this from happening. That makes a limited part of the tree available for harvesting for furniture items. If the outdoor patio furniture has several blemishes in the grain, then it may not be fully capable of supporting the activities you hope to accomplish with this investment.
6. It can buckle, crumble, or break under the right conditions.
When Acacia wood has the moisture pulled out from it for any reason, then the natural material becomes brittle. It can break very easily, even when you are sitting in a chair made from this product. If you live in the desert or an area with consistently low humidity, then you will want to add some moisture to your patio environment to ensure that it doesn’t have a chance to dry out.
7. Scratches that go against the grain can be challenging to remove.
You can usually fill in scratches with Acacia wood products with a simple stain or marker, but cross-grain damage can be exceptionally difficult to repair. Even when you get the color match right, there will be an interruption in the trademark patterns that this product provides for your outdoor patio furniture. You’ll need to redraw the grain marks to keep the look consistent, which can be challenging if the area of repair is extensive.
The pros and cons of Acacia wood outdoor patio furniture give you an affordable option that allows you to take advantage of the beauty of this product. It is a sustainable, eco-friendly way to add value to your backyard, deck, or entertainment area without requiring changes to your routine. You’ll need to care for the items daily to achieve the best results, but it is an investment that is definitely worth considering.
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.