Gympie messmate

Scientific name

Eucalyptus cloeziana. Family: Myrtaceae

Other names

Gympie messmate; Queensland messmate; dead finish; yellow messmate

Description

  • A large hardwood tree.
  • Grows to 50m high and 2m diameter.
  • Excellent stem form and vigour noted in the Gympie region.
  • Bark is brown or yellow-brown, flaky-fibrous, often distinctly tessellated on the trunk.
  • Small branches usually smooth and grey-white.

Occurrence

  • Occurs in scattered areas from near Gympie in the south to near Cooktown in the north.
  • Future supplies of plantation-grown Gympie messmate should be available from the wet tropics to Mackay, the Sunshine coast, the central and coastal Burnett and Moreton regions on suitable soils and where the mean annual rainfall exceeds 800mm.

Appearance

Colour

  • Heartwood is yellowish brown.
  • Sapwood distinctly paler.

Grain

  • Unfigured (unpatterned).
  • Texture is fine to medium, generally uniform in grain; can be slightly interlocked.

Uses

  • Engineering: sawn and round timber used to construct wharves and bridges, railway sleepers, poles, piles, cross-arms and mining timbers.
  • Construction: unseasoned, sawn timber in general, house framing, and as seasoned dressed timber in cladding, internal and external flooring, lining and joinery. Also in fencing, landscaping and retaining walls.
  • Decorative: outdoor furniture, turnery and joinery.
  • Others: coach, vehicle and carriage building; keel and framing components; planking.

Properties

  • Density: 1010kgm3 at 12% moisture content; about 1.0m3 of seasoned sawn timber per tonne. Plantation-grown timber: age 4–17 years is 75-85% mature timber density; age 32–46 years is 95–97% mature timber density.
  • Strength groups: S2 unseasoned, SD3 seasoned.
  • Stress grades: F11, F14, F17, F22 (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: natural grown—6.2% (tangential), 3.4% (radial); plantation-grown (35 years)—5.9% (tangential), 4.2% (radial).
  • Unit shrinkage. Natural grown—0.4% (tangential), 0.2% (radial); plantation-grown—0.4% (tangential), 0.3% (radial).
  • Durability above-ground: Class 1 (life expectancy more than 40 years).
  • Durability in-ground: Class 1 (life expectancy more than 25 years).
  • Lyctine susceptibility: sapwood not susceptible to lyctid borer attack.
  • Termite resistance: resistant.
  • Preservation: sapwood readily impregnates with preservative.
  • Seasoning: satisfactorily dries using conventional air and kiln seasoning.
  • Hardness: very hard (rated 1 on a 6-class scale) to indent and work with hand tools.
  • Machining: machines, turns and dresses well.
  • Fixing: no difficulties using standard fittings and fastenings.
  • Gluing: as with most high-density species, machine and prepare surface immediately before gluing.
  • Finishing: readily accepts paint, stains and polish.

Identification features

General characteristics

  • Sapwood: white to greyish white, with distinct change to heartwood.
  • Heartwood: yellowish brown.
  • Texture: medium texture, straight to shallowly interlocked grain.

Wood structure

  • Growth rings: seasonal rings sometimes evident but not sharply defined.
  • Vessels: solitary, indistinct without magnification, occasionally in radial or oblique chains; vessel lines on longitudinal surfaces; vessels tylosed.
  • Parenchyma (soft tissue): indistinct without high magnification.
  • Rays: fine, visible only with lens.

Other features

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