Australian Timbers

April 27, 2018

Timber provides a sense of organic warmth, softness and tactility that few other materials possess and offers positive health benefits, similar to those created by spending time in nature.


Australia has some of the most durable and beautiful timbers in the world, making them ideal for architecture and design.


Hardwood versus softwood....


Whether a timber is hardwood or softwood doesn't refer to its strength, but rather its seed structure. Hardwood trees' seeds are produced in an enclosed form with some sort of covering, such as a shell or fruit.


Softwood trees form naked seeds that are dropped to the ground. Hardwoods tend to be slower growing than softwoods and are therefore usually more dense, however, this is not always the case.


Here are a few native Australian timbers, including their colours, textures, qualities and common applications.


1. Jarrah

 Jarrah is a slow-growing tree that hails from the iron-and aluminium-rich plains in the southwest corner of WA. It is one of the few commercial hardwood species from WA.


With rich tones and a medium to course texture it won't burn unless exposed to a constant flame.


It's a versatile hardwood used for engineering, construction and decorative purposes. It is a popular choice for flooring, joinery, and indoor and outdoor furniture. 



2. Spotted Gum


Spotted Gum is the common name for four hardwood species that grow from northeast Victoria to the northern tablelands of Queensland. The 'spotted' refers to the soft mottled colour of the wood. 


It has a wavy grain and is a tough timber and can be used in bushfire-prone areas.


Spotted Gum is suitable in flooring, decking, and cladding and can be used for indoor and outdoor furniture.



3. Blackbutt


Blackbutt is a hardwood timber commonly available in NSW and southern Queensland where its often used for building framework. It ranges in colour from cream to pale brown and is commonly used for structural and exterior applications, flooring, decking and lining.  Inside its used for furniture, flooring and joinery.



4.  Tasmanian Oak


Tasmianian Oak refers to the eucalypt species found in Tasmania. It's light in colour and has an extremely straight and even grain.


Whilst it is dense and resilient it is not resilient to termites. It is a popular timber for furniture and has excellent staining qualities.



5. Cypress Pine


Cypress Pine is a softwood found throughout Victoria, western NSW and central western Queensland. It ranges from light yellow and light orange to light brown.  Cypress Pine generally has a straight grain with a fine, even texture.


It is widely used for furniture, joinery, flooring, lining and cladding and its distinctive tight knots enhance its decorative appeal for exposed faces.


This article appeared on Houzz.







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