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Grey satinash

Scientific name

Syzygium gustavioides syn. Eugenia gustavioides; Acmenosperma claviflorum. Family: Myrtaceae

Local name


Description and natural occurrence

A medium to large hardwood attaining 40 m in height and 1.8 m in diameter. Bole symmetrical and buttressed to some extent.

Grey satinash occurs in the high rainfall areas between Tully and Cooktown.

Wood appearance

Colour. Heartwood buff-grey to yellowish. Sapwood not clearly defined.

Grain. Texture fine to medium; grain often interlocked.

Wood properties

Density. Syzygium gustavioides 690 kg/m3 and Acmenosperma claviflorum 880 kg/m3 at 12% moisture content; approximately 1.5 m3 of seasoned sawn timber per tonne.

Strength groups. Syzygium gustavioides S5 unseasoned; SD6 seasoned. Acmenosperma claviflorum (S4) unseasoned; (SD4) seasoned (brackets indicate provisional value).

Stress grades. Syzygium gustavioides F5, F7, F8, F11 (unseasoned), F7, F8, F11, F14 (seasoned), Acmenosperma claviflorum F7, F8, F11, F14 (unseasoned), F11, F14, F17, F22 when visually stress graded in accordance with AS 2082:2000, Timber - hardwood - visually stress-graded for structural purposes.

Joint groups. Syzygium gustavioides J3 unseasoned; JD3 seasoned. Acmenosperma claviflorum J3 unseasoned; JD2 seasoned.

Shrinkage to 12% MC. 5.7% (tangential); 2.5% (radial).

Unit shrinkage. 0.28% (tangential); 0.17% (radial). These figures apply to timber reconditioned after seasoning.

Durability above-ground. Class 3 - life expectancy 7 to 15 years.

Durability in-ground. Class 3 - life expectancy 5 to 15 years.

Lyctine susceptibility. Untreated sapwood susceptible to lyctid borer attack.

Termite resistance. Not resistant.

Preservation. Sapwood accepts preservative impregnation.

Seasoning. Slow to dry, but with little degrade and without particular difficulty.

Hardness. Moderately hard (rated 3 on a 6 class scale) in relation to indentation and ease of working with hand tools.

Machining. Works well with machine tools.

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

Gluing. Glues satisfactorily.

Finishing. Accepts paint, stain and polish.


Construction. Building framework, dressed window and door sills, joinery, flooring, plywood, linings and fixtures, mouldings.

Decorative. Turnery, furniture and cabinet making, picture mouldings.

Others. Funeral caskets, shoe heels, plywood.

Identification features

General characteristics

Sapwood. White-grey, not clearly defined.

Heartwood. Yellow to yellow-grey.

Texture. Medium and uniform; grain often interlocked.

Wood structure

Vessels. Medium to small, visible without lens, mostly solitary, but some in short radial chains of two to four. Vessel lines visible. Tyloses present, with occasional vessel deposits.

Parenchyma. Plentiful as fine confluent bands not uniformly distributed.

Rays. Fine, numerous, visible with lens and tending towards two distinct widths.

Other features

Burning splinter test. A match-size splinter burns to a charcoal or in some instances to a fine black 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.