Gympie messmate

Scientific name

Eucalyptus cloeziana. Family: Myrtaceae

Other names

Gympie messmate; Queensland messmate; dead finish; yellow messmate


  • 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.


  • Occurs in scattered areas from near Gympie in the south to near Cooktown in the north.



  • Heartwood is yellowish brown.
  • Sapwood distinctly paler.


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


  • 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.


  • 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.