Queensland maple

Scientific name

Flindersia brayleyana. Family: Rutaceae.

Local name


Description and natural occurrence

A medium-sized tree attaining a height of 40 m and 2.5 m in stem diameter. The trunk is usually well formed, circular in cross-section and not buttressed. The bark, which is approximately 12 mm thick, is grey to brown. It has fairly distinct longitudinal fissures. In older trees these fissures are not so marked owing to a tendency to scaliness.

Restricted to northern Queensland rainforests between Townsville and the Windsor Tableland.

Wood appearance

Colour. The heartwood is pink to brownish pink while the narrow sapwood band is coloured white to pale grey.

Grain. The grain is somewhat interlocked, often wavy or curly, and the texture medium and uniform. Some quarter sawn boards show various types of figure such as waterwave, rib and birdseye.

Wood properties

Density. 575 kg/m3 at 12% moisture content; approximately 1.7 m3 of seasoned sawn timber per tonne.

Strength groups. (S6) unseasoned; SD6 seasoned.

Stress grades. F4, F5, F7, F8 (unseasoned); F7, F8, F11, F14 (seasoned), when visually stress graded in accordance with AS 2082:2000, Timber - hardwood - visually stress-graded for structural purposes.

Joint groups. J4 unseasoned; JD4 seasoned.

Shrinkage to 12% MC. 7.2% (tangential); 2.9% (radial).

Unit shrinkage. 0.25% (tangential); 0.15% (radial). These values apply to timber reconditioned after seasoning.

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

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

Lyctine susceptibility. Sapwood is not susceptible to lyctid borer attack.

Termite resitance. 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.

Hardness. Firm (rated 4 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 stain, polish and paint.


Decorative. Furniture, plywood, shop and office fixtures, joinery, turnery, carving, inlay work, picture frames.

Others. Light boat building (planking, decking, sawn frames, stringers, chines, gunwales), marine plywood. Has been used for aeroplane propellers, coach, vehicle and carriage building, draughtsman´s implements, gunstocks, musical instruments (piano parts, guitar necks, backs, sides and headstock) and walking sticks. Was used to some extent in general building framing in the early 1900´s, and more commonly in flooring, lining mouldings and joinery, but use in such applications has been very infrequent for some decades.

Identification features

General characteristics

Sapwood. White to pale grey.

Heartwood. Pink to brownish-pink with lustrous sheen.

Texture. Medium and uniform, grain very variable, sometimes with interlocked fibres, wavy or curly and occasionally more disturbed producing fiddleback or birdseye.

Wood structure

Growth rings. Absent

Vessels. Small to medium in size, uniformly distributed, mainly solitary but with some in short radial rows of up to four. Simple perforation plates can be seen with a lens. Deposits of extraneous material present in some vessels.

Wood parenchyma. Not visible under a lens.

Rays. Visible without a lens and prominent on radial surfaces.

Ripple marks. Absent.

Intercellular canals. Present in some samples.

Other features

Burning splinter test. Burns to a full ash white-buff in colour.

"Birdseye". Areas of dark coloured soft tissue, giving dressed surfaces a dimpled appearance, caused by attack to the living tree by an insect restricted to this species. This feature, though not particularly common in wood marketed for furniture or high-value decorative uses, is a feature for distinguishing wood of F. brayleyana from otherwise very similar wood of F. pimenteliana (maple silkwood).

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.

Last updated 05 August 2010