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Scientific name

Corymbia tessellaris. Family: Myrtaceae

Local names

Moreton Bay ash, carbeen bloodwood

Description and natural occurrence

A medium to large tree growing up to 15-30 m in height and one metre in diameter. It is easily distinguished by its long narrow pendulous leaves and basal stocking of grey tessellated bark to a height of 1-4 m, which then changes to a smooth greyish or white bark. Carbeen occurs from far northern New South Wales through most of eastern Queensland, extending to the northern-most tip of Cape York Peninsula.

Wood appearance

Colour. Heartwood brown to dark chocolate brown. Sapwood distinctively paler-light brown, or pinkish yellow.

Grain. Moderately coarse textured and variable. The presence of wavy grain can produce an attractive fiddleback figure.

Wood properties

Density. 1040 kg/m3 at 12% moisture content; approximately 1.0 m3 of seasoned sawn timber per tonne.

Strength groups. (S1) unseasoned; (SD1) seasoned.

Stress grades. F14, F17, F22, F27 (unseasoned), F22, F27, F34 (seasoned), when visually stress graded in accordance with AS 2082-2000, Timber - Hardwood - Visually stress-graded for structural purposes.

Joint groups. J1 unseasoned; JD1 seasoned.

Shrinkage to 12% MC. 3.4% (tangential); 3.0% (radial).

Unit shrinkage. Not available.

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

Durability in-ground. Class 1 - life expectancy over 25 years.

Lyctine susceptibility. Untreated sapwood susceptible to lyctine borer attack.

Termite resistance. Resistant.

Preservation. Sapwood readily accepts preservative impregnation.

Seasoning. Can be satisfactorily dried using conventional air and kiln seasoning methods.

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

Machining. Machines and dresses well due to its natural greasiness.

Fixing. No difficulty has been experienced with the use of standard fittings and fastenings.

Gluing. As with most high-density species, machining and surface preparation should be done immediately before gluing.

Finishing. Will readily accept paint, stains and polish.


Engineering. As sawn and round timber in wharf and bridge construction, mining timber, railway sleepers, piles, cross-arms.

Construction. As unseasoned timber in general house framing, and as seasoned dressed timber in cladding, internal and external flooring, lining and joinery. Also in fencing, landscaping and retaining walls.

Decorative. Outdoor furniture, turnery, joinery.

Others. Coach, vehicle and carriage building, agricultural machinery, mallet heads and mauls.

Identification features

General characteristics

Sapwood. Light brown and distinct from heartwood.

Heartwood. Brown to dark brown.

Texture. Open, often with interlocked grain; slightly greasy to touch.

Wood structure

Vessels. Medium to small, solitary and radial chains common. Vessel lines conspicuous on dressed surfaces. Tyloses abundant.

Parenchyma. Very abundant with tendency to form zonate bands.

Rays. Medium, just visible to the naked eye.

Other features

Burning splinter test. A match-sized splinter will burn to a complete ash, white to buff in colour.

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.