Blackdown stringybark

Scientific name

Eucalyptus sphaerocarpa. Family: Myrtaceae


  • Bulky, tall tree.
  • Grows to 45m high and 2m stem diameter.
  • Grey-brown bark is fibrous and ‘stringy’ but more compact than true stringybarks.


  • Confined to the Blackdown Tableland area of Central Queensland, 150 km west-south-west of Rockhampton.



  • Heartwood is brownish
  • Sapwood is paler.


  • Grain slightly interlocked.



  • Mining timbers.
  • Cross-arms.


  • General building construction.
  • Unseasoned framing.
  • Cladding.


  • Density: 995kg/m3 at 12% moisture content; about 1.0m3 of seasoned sawn timber per tonne.
  • Strength groups: (S3) unseasoned, (SD3) seasoned.
  • Stress grades: F8, F11, F14, F17 (unseasoned), F14, F17, F22, F27 (seasoned) when visually stress-graded according to AS 2082—2000: Timber—Hardwood—Visually stress-graded hardwood for structural purposes.
  • Joint groups: J1 unseasoned, JD1 seasoned.
  • Shrinkage to 12% MC: not available.
  • Unit shrinkage: not available.
  • Durability above-ground: Class 1 (life expectancy more than 40 years).
  • Durability in-ground: Class 2 (life expectancy 15–25 years).
  • Lyctine susceptibility: sapwood is not susceptible to lyctine borer attack.
  • Termite resistance: resistant.
  • Preservation: sapwood readily impregnates with preservative.
  • Seasoning: relatively easy to dry.
  • Hardness: very hard (rated 1 on a 6-class scale) to indent and work with hand tools.
  • Machining: relatively easy to work.
  • Fixing: no difficulties using standard fittings and fastenings.
  • Gluing: satisfactorily bonds using standard procedures.
  • Finishing: readily accepts paint, stain and polish.

Identification features

General characteristics

  • Sapwood: pale brown, usually distinct.
  • Heartwood: brown to yellow-brown.
  • Texture: medium and even.

Wood structure

  • Vessels: small to medium, mostly solitary, some diagonal chains, tyloses.
  • Parenchyma (soft tissue): sparse.
  • Rays: fine, visible with a lens.

Other features

  • Burning splinter test: match-size splinter burns to charcoal.

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 ed., 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.