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Bimble box

Scientific name

Eucalyptus populnea. Family: Myrtaceae

Other names

Poplar box

Description

  • Grows to 20m tall.
  • Bark is light to dark grey, rough, and fibrous.
  • Bark remains attached on the lower branches.
  • Typical 'box-type' bark.

Occurrence

  • Widespread and abundant in drier areas of the Australian east coast, ranging from Hay in New South Wales to Rockhampton (20–30°S) in Queensland.
  • Common on light-textured red loams, but soils vary.
  • Grows on black soil plains.

Appearance

Colour

  • Pale brown to dark brown—may depend on the soil type and water available.

Grain

  • Wavy figure (pattern).
  • Fine texture.

Uses

Engineering

  • Fence posts and rails.
  • Musical instrument-making e.g. xylophones and bagpipes.

Construction

  • Bush furniture.

Others

  • Fuel wood.
  • Carbon opportunities.
  • Charcoal.

Properties

  • Density: 1090kg/m3 at 12% moisture content; about 0.74m3 of seasoned sawn timber per tonne.
  • Strength groups: (S2) unseasoned, (SD2) seasoned.
  • Stress grades: F11, F14, F17, F22 (unseasoned), F17, F22, F27, F34 (seasoned) when visually stress-graded according to AS 2082—2000: Timber—Hardwood—Visually stress-graded for structural purposes.
  • Joint groups: JD1 seasoned.
  • Shrinkage to 12% moisture content: 4.0% (tangential), 2.8% (longitudinal).
  • Unit shrinkage: not available.
  • Durability above-ground: Class 1 (life expectancy more than 40 years).
  • Durability in-ground: Class 1 (life expectancy more than 25 years).
  • Lyctine susceptibility: untreated sapwood susceptible to lyctine borer attack.
  • Termite resistance: not resistant.
  • Seasoning: dries slowly with little degrading.
  • Hardness: very hard (rated 1 on a 6-class scale) to indent and work with hand tools.
  • Machining: unknown.
  • Fixing: wood is moderately fissile (easily split)—be careful when using standard fittings and fastenings.
  • Gluing: satisfactory.
  • Finishing: readily accepts paint, stain and polish.

Identification features

General characteristics

  • Sapwood: paler and distinct from heartwood.
  • Heartwood: generally deep red but may be lighter in younger growth.
  • Texture: uniform, coarse grain, often interlocked; occasional tight gum veins.

Wood structure

  • Growth rings: generally absent, but some show vessels arranged in zones.
  • Vessels: medium size, solitary, distributed in a diffuse pattern; vessel lines obvious on longitudinal surfaces; contain frequent tyloses and dark-red gum deposits.
  • Parenchyma (soft tissue): variable amount, not abundant; diffuse and paratracheal.
  • Rays: fine, visible only with a lens.

Other features

  • Burning splinter test: match-size splinter burns to charcoal without ash.

Research and resources

  • 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 ed., McGraw-Hill, Sydney.
  • Ilic, J 1991, CSIRO atlas of hardwoods, Crawford House Press, Bathurst, Australia.
  • Queensland Government, DAF 2018, Construction timbers in Queensland: properties and specifications for satisfactory performance of construction timbers in Queensland. Class 1 and Class 10 buildings, Books 1 & 2, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Brisbane.
  • Standards Australia, 2000, AS 2082—2000: Timber—Hardwood—Visually stress-graded for structural purposes, Standards Australia International, Strathfield, NSW.