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Durian

Scientific name

Durio spp., Neesia spp., Bombax spp., Coelostegia spp., Kostermansia spp. Family: Bombaceae

Other names

Derian; duriat; dian; dulian; dulen; rulen; durene; tureno; turian; jatu; kadu (Indonesia); punggai (Malaysia); bengang (Neesia spp., Sarawak)

Description

  • Grows to 40m.
  • Clear bole (trunk) to 25m and 1–2m diameter.
  • Rough bark varies from brown to dark red, and sheds at irregular intervals.
  • Many species have low buttresses.

Occurrence

  • Occurs throughout Burma, Malaysia and Indonesia.
  • Many areas harvest the durian fruit every October/November (which, despite its offensive smell, is considered a delicacy).
  • Ash of the fruit rind is used for bleaching silk.
  • Small quantities are imported to Australia.

Appearance

Colour

  • Heartwood is pink-brown to deep, red-brown.
  • Sapwood is lighter coloured and distinct in most species.

Grain

  • Varies between species from straight to interlocked.
  • Texture is coarse and often uneven.

Uses

  • Construction: light construction, plywood.
  • Decorative: furniture, joinery, panelling, veneer.
  • Others: clogs.

Properties

  • Density: 575–640kg/m3 at 12% moisture content; about 1.6–1.8m3 of seasoned sawn timber per tonne.
  • Strength groups: S4 unseasoned, SD4 seasoned.
  • Stress grades: F7, F8, F11, F14 (unseasoned); F11, F14, F17, F22 (seasoned) when visually stress-graded in accordance with AS 2082—2000: Timber—Hardwood—Visually stress-graded for structural purposes.
  • Joint groups: JD4 seasoned.
  • Shrinkage to 12% MC: shrinkage varies between species—Durio spp. about 4.0% (tangential) and 3.0% (radial); Neesia spp. about 2.0% (tangential) and 1.0% (radial).
  • Unit shrinkage: not available.
  • Durability above-ground: Class 4 (life expectancy less than 7 years).
  • Durability in-ground: Class 4 (life expectancy less than 5 years).
  • Lyctine susceptibility: untreated sapwood is susceptible to lyctid borer attack.
  • Termite resistance: not resistant.
  • Preservation: sapwood readily impregnates with preservatives.
  • Seasoning: seasons rapidly but has a tendency to cup; use weights and close sticker spacings to minimise degrade.
  • Hardness: firm (rated 4 on a 6-class scale) to indent and work with hand tools.
  • Machining: machines well; however, turning produces a slightly rough surface.
  • Fixing: nails well.
  • Gluing: satisfactorily bonds using standard procedures.
  • Finishing: seasoned timber readily accepts paint, stain and polish.

Identification features

General characteristics

  • Sapwood: white to pale pink-brown, distinct from heartwood.
  • Heartwood: pink-brown to deep red-brown.
  • Texture: medium to coarse.

Wood structure

  • Vessels: radial multiples of 2–3, tending to oval, visible to naked eye.
  • Rays: prominent on quarter.

Other features

  • Texture: some species are greasy to touch.
  • Odour: characteristic unpleasant odour when freshly sawn.

Research and resources

  • 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.