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Brown quandong

Scientific name

Elaeocarpus ruminatus, E. coorangooloo. Family: Elaeocarpaceae

Local name


Description and natural occurrence

Medium sized hardwoods with buttressed, straight trunk. Bark grey or brownish slightly longitudinally wrinkled, with brown-coloured pustules in the wrinkles.

E. ruminatus occurs in rainforest from Mackay to Atherton. E. coorangooloo has a restricted distribution to areas of dry rainforest in North Queensland.

Wood appearance

Colour. Heartwood pale-brown, sometimes with a greyish tinge, and sometimes with stripes of a darker colour. Sapwood creamy-white.

Grain. Often interlocked, producing a ribbon figure on the radial surface. Texture moderately fine and even.

Wood properties

Density. E. ruminatus - 560kg/m3 and E. coorangaloo - 610 at 12% moisture content; approximately 1.6 to 1.8 m3 of seasoned sawn timber per tonne.

Strength groups. E. ruminatus and E. coorangaloo (S6) unseasoned; (SD7) seasoned.

Stress grades. E. ruminatus and E. coorangaloo F4, F5, F7, F8 (unseasoned), F5, F7, F8, F11(seasoned); when visually stress graded in accordance with AS 2082:2000, Timber - hrdwood - visually stress-graded for structural purposes.

Joint groups. Elaeocarpus ruminatus JD4 seasoned. E. coorangooloo JD3 seasoned

Shrinkage to 12% MC. Not available.

Unit shrinkage. Not available.

Durability above-ground. Class 4 - life expectancy less than 7 years.

Durability in-ground. Class 4 - life expectancy less than 5 years.

Lyctine susceptibility . Untreated sapwood susceptible to lyctine borer attack.

Termite resistance. Not resistant.

Preservation. Sapwood accepts preservative impregnation.

Seasoning. Seasons well.

Hardness. E. ruminatus soft (rated 5 on a 6 class scale) and E. coorangooloo firm (rated 4 on a 6 class scale) in relation to indentation and ease of working with hand tools.

Machining. Easy to work, cuts cleanly and dresses with a fine finish.

Fixing. Holds nails and screws well.

Gluing. Glues well.

Finishing. Will readily accept paint, stain and polish.


Construction. Linings, flooring, general building framing.

Decorative. Veneer, turnery, joinery and mouldings.

Others. Plywood, brushbacks, furniture and cabinet work, shingles, planking of racing skiffs and racing sculls. It has been used in the construction of the lighter parts of aircraft.

Identification features

General characteristics

Sapwood. Creamy-white.

Heartwood. Pale straw colour, with grey streaks.

Texture. Moderately fine and uniform, straight grain, soft to cut.

Wood structure

Vessels. Medium in size, radial multiples of 2-4 cells with a few solitary, uniform distribution.

Parenchyma. Visible only as fine terminal bands.

Rays. Of two distinct widths, moderate and fine.

Other features

Burning splinter test. Wood burns to a grey-buff ash.

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.