Heartwood is a deep reddish brown, sometimes with a purplish hue—heartwood portions of Tamarind tend to be narrow and are usually only present in older and larger trees. The pale yellow sapwood is very wide and sharply demarcated from the heartwood. Spalting and other discoloration are very common in the sapwood, and the majority of the Tamarind available in the United States is spalted sapwood.
Because of its density and interlocked grain, Tamarind is generally considered difficult to work. Heartwood also has a pronounced blunting effect on cutting edges. Turns, glues, and finishes well—the heartwood is able to take a high natural polish.
Tamarind trees are best known for their fruit, not wood. Tamarind trees are widely planted throughout the tropics both for their fruit, and also as an ornamental.