The Australian continent isn’t only large. Its vastness has also spurred a variety of species of trees that are used for timber. Australian timber today encompasses a vast directory of wood for furniture, giving people here ample to choose from. Here are a wide selection of the best types of wood in Australia:
Blackbutt: Foresters see this species as one that grows fast and has very high quality timber. Its sapwood is hard enough to resist termite and borer attacks, while its heartwood ranges in color from a yellowish to light brown. Its texture is coarse and its small gum veins with straight grains is easily evident. It is a strong and dense wood, easy to work with and moderately durable.
It is best used to make flooring, furniture, decking, wood chopping, poles, railway sleepers, cladding, framework of buildings, lining boards and joinery. It is very dense at 900 kg/cubic meter. About 40% of its total growth comes from plantations in north New South Wales.
Messmate Stringybark: A major Australian hardwood type, this one is not just denser than others but harder too. It is sold along with Mountain Ash and is known as Vic Ash. Its sapwood is pale brown while its heartwood is light brown. Its texture is even and it has straight grains that usually interlock, while you can even spot its distinctive rings.
It also has gum veins. It can be stained, glued and worked with very easily and is right for steam bending. It has applications in construction, pulp production and manufacturing, especially in building houses, making furniture and flooring and joinery. It needs a cool climate, so it is common to Melbourne.
Flooded Gum: Also called Rose Gum or Flooded Gum, this wood makes up 30% of New South Wales’ plantation stock. Its heartwood is quite durable. It is chosen to make furniture, joinery and panelling, and for general construction.
Mountain (Vic) Ash: It is known by a number of names such as Tassie Oak, Vic Ash, Giant Ash, etc. It is commonly grown in south eastern Australia. It is one of the world’s tallest tree species, often exceeding 114 meters or 374 feet. It is of medium weight and stringy in texture. It is common to see gum veins in Mountain Ash trees.
Its wood is easy to saw and its grain is straight with definite sections, though it doesn’t have knots. Its timber is used for steam bending, apart from furniture, panelling, flooring, plywood, veneer, window frames and for general construction.
Australian Wormy Chestnut: This species of tree is perhaps one of the most distinctive of all exotic trees worldwide. It has all the typical traits of the temperate forests situated in southeast Australia, such as maroon gum veins, native worm strokes, fire streaks and color variations, apart from others. In the commercial market, this tree is highly prized and it is best used for sophisticated interiors.
Its exotic nature makes it ideal for making furniture, flooring, cabinets and countertops. Australian Wormy Chestnut is perfect for its durability, native style and warmth, whether you want it to grace your home or office.
Grey Ironbark: Foresters applaud this timber species for its density, strength, durability and toughness. Its density is an impressive 1120 kilograms per cubic meter. It has a reddish brown heartwood. It has various uses, such as thick-set furniture, flooring, heavy engineering, cross arms, construction, etc. However, it is not easy to procure, making it expensive to buy.
Australian Red Cedar: Perhaps one of the most highly prized among woodworkers, it comes as no surprise to find that this timber is called Red Gold by carpenters. It is distinctive for its spicy aroma.
It can grow to 60 meters in height, and its trunk is usually three meters wide. Its timber ranges from pink to maroon. This timber lends itself easily for staining, painting or polishing.
It is used to make cabinets, furniture and interior decoration. Its straight grain and coarse texture make for a variety of applications. If you trek through the rainforests of eastern coastal Australia, such as New South Wales and Queensland, you’ll be in their midst.
Bunya Pine: These trees grow wild in the Southern Queensland’s districts of Yarram and Gympie. The timber here resembles Hoop Pine, though it is just a little deeper pink but less dense. It is not durable but has proved to be good for making furniture, plywood and joinery.
Queensland Maple: Also called Flindersia Brayleyana, this tree is from north Queensland and New Guinea. It is identified by its middling durability. It is best used for making furniture, joinery, rifle stocks, decorative veneer and panelling.
River Red Gum: Along several Australian inland rivers, it is easy to find large to medium hardwood trees called River Red Gum. These hardy trees can bear protracted periods of flooding. Its heartwood is very durable, making it ideal for making heavy furniture, sills, panelling, sleepers and decorative turnery.
Southern Silky Oak: Found in large numbers along the coasts of eastern Australia, these trees can grow up to 100 feet. Its heartwood ranges from light russet to medium, and is marked with brown rays. When quarter sawn, it displays a definite and impressive figure and large flecks. It has a coarse texture and its grain is straight. Woodworkers find it easy to work with and it finishes and glues well.
It also has medium durability, including rot and insect resistance. It can cause skin and eye irritation. It is used for making fine furniture, specialty items, veneer, musical instruments and cabinetry.
Grey Satinash: These hardwood trees grow to 40 m in height. It is grown in heavy rainfall areas lying between Cooktown and Tully. Its heartwood ranges between grey and yellow. Its texture ranges between medium to fine and its grain is usually interlocked. It is ideal for furniture, cabinet making, shoes, window and door sills, etc.
These are some types of wood in Australia that are used commercially for timber to make all kinds of furniture–ordinary furniture, heavy furniture and fine furniture.