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Rose gum

Scientific name

Eucalyptus grandis. Family: Myrtaceae.

Local names

Flooded gum, scrub gum.

Description and natural occurrence

A very tall forest tree reaching 45-55 m in height and 1-2 m in stem diameter.

Mainly occurring from Newcastle in New South Wales to Bundaberg in Queensland. Smaller stands occur to the west of Mackay in Central Queensland and in the ranges from north west of Townsville to west of Bloomfield in North Queensland. It has also been grown in plantations in Queensland and New South Wales.

Sawn timber of this species is readily available.

Wood appearance

Colour. The heartwood ranges in colour from pale pink to red brown. Sapwood is usually paler in colour but is not always clearly differentiated.

Grain. Moderately coarse textured but uniform. Predominantly straight grained with no pronounced figure.

Wood properties

Density. Can vary with maturity of the wood, with an average of about 800 kg/m3 at 12% moisture content; approximately 1.2 m3 of seasoned sawn timber per tonne.

Strength groups. S3 unseasoned; SD4 seasoned.

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

Joint groups. J3 unseasoned; JD2 seasoned.

Shrinkage to 12% MC. 7.2% (tangential); 4.0% (radial).

Unit shrinkage. 0.34% (tangential); 0.25% (radial). These values apply to timber reconditioned after seasoning.

Durability above-ground. Class 2 - life expectancy 15 to 40 years.

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

Lyctine susceptibility. Sapwood not susceptible to lyctid borer attack.

Termite resistance. Not resistant.

Preservation. Sapwood readily accepts preservative impregnation but penetration of heartwood is negligible using currently available commercial processes.

Seasoning. Can be satisfactorily dried using conventional air and kiln seasoning methods. Care needs to be taken in the early stages of drying to avoid collapse and surface checking.

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

Machining. Machines and turns well to a smooth surface.

Fixing. No difficulty has 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.


Construction. As sawn timber in general house framing, cladding, internal and external flooring, mouldings, linings, joinery, fascia and barge boards.

Decorative. Internal quality furniture, outdoor furniture, joinery, carving, turnery.

Others. Structural plywood, boat building (framing components, planking, decking). Has been used for boat oars, dowel rods, broom handles, brush ware, fruit cases.

Identification features

General characteristics

Sapwood. Light brown; usually paler than heartwood.

Heartwood. Pink to red-brown in colour.

Texture. Open, uniform texture, grain usually straight, or slightly interlocked.

Wood structure

Vessels. Large in size, visible without a lens. Variable in number, diffusely distributed. Diagonal chains common. Vessel lines prominent. Cells mostly open but tyloses common in mature wood.

Parenchyma. Scarce.

Rays. Fine, visible only with a lens.

Other features

Burning splinter test. A match size splinter burns with difficulty 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.