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Red bloodwood

Scientific name

Corymbia gummifera; C. intermedia; C. polycarpa. Family: Myrtaceae.

Local names

Pale bloodwood (C. gummifera); pink bloodwood (C. intermedia); pale bloodwood, long-fruited bloodwood (C. polycarpa).

Description and natural occurrence

A medium-sized hardwood tree up to 35 m in height and 1 m in diameter. The reddish-brown, scaly bark covers the whole of the tree, and red-coloured kino gum is freely exuded. A relatively common species in coastal areas from New South Wales through to Queensland.

Wood appearance

Colour. Heartwood dark pink, deep red to red-brown, often with an abundance of kino veins. Sapwood pale pink to light brown.

Grain. Grain generally interlocked, coarse textured, kino veins often large and concentric.

Wood properties

Density. 1010 kg/m3 at 12% moisture content; approximately 1.0 m3 of seasoned, sawn timber per tonne.

Strength groups. S3 unseasoned, (SD3) seasoned (brackets indicate provisional value).

Stress grades. F8, F11, F14, F17 (unseasoned), F14, F17, F22, F27 (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. 4.0% (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 lyctid borer attack.

Termite resistance. C. gummifera and C. polycarpa not resistant, C. intermedia resistant.

Preservation. Sapwood readily accepts preservative impregnation.

Seasoning. Seasons satisfactorily but some opening up of the kino veins may occur.

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

Machining. Because of the presence of kino veins, red bloodwood is usually used as a round timber rather than sawn material.

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, stain and polish.


Engineering. Has been used as poles, piles, sleepers and mining timbers.

Construction. Fencing and house stumps.

Others. Hardboard manufacture.

Identification features

General characteristics

Sapwood. Pale-pink to light-brown, distinct from heartwood.

Heartwood. Variable, pale pink, light red to dark red, red brown, majority red brown.

Texture. Coarse open texture, grain often interlocked. Concentric gum veins common.

Wood structure

Growth rings. Absent, but some specimens tend to have zonate formation of the vessels.

Vessels. Medium to large, visible to the unaided eye, numerous. Double and multiple pores in radial alignment. Vessel lines prominent. Vessels tylosed.

Parenchyma. Very abundant; diffuse and paratracheal with tendency to form zonate bands.

Rays. Fine.

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.