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Blackdown stringybark

Scientific name

Eucalyptus sphaerocarpa. Family: Myrtaceae

Description and natural occurrence

A bulky and tall tree growing up to 45 m in height and 2 m in stem diameter. The grey-brown bark is fibrous and ´stringy´, but more compact than true stringybarks. The species is confined to the Blackdown Tableland area of Central Queensland, 150 km west-south-west of Rockhampton.

Wood appearance

Colour. Heartwood brownish, sapwood somewhat paler.

Grain. Grain slightly interlocked.

Wood properties

Density. 995 kg/m3 at 12 % moisture content; approximately 1.0 m3 of seasoned sawn timber per tonne.

Strength groups. (S3) unseasoned; (SD3) seasoned.

Stress grades. F8, F11, F14, F17 (unseasoned), F14, F17, F22, F27 (seasoned), when visually stress graded in accordance with AS 2082-1979, Visually stress-graded hardwood for structural purposes.

Joint groups. J1 unseasoned; JD1 seasoned.

Shrinkage to 12% MC. Not available.

Unit shrinkage. Not available.

Durability above-ground. Class 1 - life expectancy over 40 years.

Durability in-ground. Class 2 - life expectancy 15 to 25 years.

Lyctine susceptibility. Sapwood is not susceptible to lyctine borer attack.

Termite resistance. Resistant.

Preservation. Sapwood readily accepts preservative impregnation.

Seasoning. Relatively easy to dry.

Hardness. Very hard (rated 1 on a 6 class scale) in relation to indentation and ease of working with hand tools.

Machining. Relatively easy to work.

Fixing. No difficulties have been experienced with the use of standard fittings and fastenings.

Gluing. Can be satisfactorily bonded using standard procedures.

Finishing. Will readily accept paint, stain and polish.


Engineering. Mining timbers, crossarms.

Construction. General building construction, unseasoned framing, cladding.

Identification features

General characteristics

Sapwood. Pale brown, usually distinct.

Heartwood. Brown to yellow-brown.

Texture. Medium and even.

Wood structure

Vessels. Small to medium, mostly solitary, some diagonal chains, tyloses present.

Parenchyma. Sparse.

Rays. Fine, visible with lens.

Other features

Burning splinter test. A match size splinter burns to charcoal.

Further reading

Boland, DJ, Brooker, MIH, Chippendale, GM, Hall, N, Hyland, BPM, Johnston, RD, Kleinig, DA and Turner, JD 2006, 'Forest trees of Australia', 5th edn, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood Australia.

Bootle, K 2005, 'Wood in Australia: types, properties and uses', 2nd edn, McGraw-Hill, Sydney.

Hopewell, G (ed.) 2006, 'Construction timbers in Queensland: properties and specifications for satisfactory performance of construction timbers in Queensland, Class 1 and Class 10 buildings', books 1 and 2, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Brisbane.

Ilic, J 1991, 'CSIRO atlas of hardwoods', Crawford House Press, Bathurst, Australia.

Standards Australia, 2000, 'AS 2082-2000: Timber - hardwood - visually stress-graded for structural purposes', Standards Australia.