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- Rainforest tree grows 25–30m high.
- Stem grows to 1m diameter.
- Trunk can be heavily flanged at the base but is not prominently buttressed. Bark is brown with fine vertical fissures.
- Bark is shed in small chips.
- Freshly cut bark and sapwood have a strong onion-like odour.
- Found in rainforests from the Clarence River, New South Wales, to the Daintree River, North Queensland.
- Heartwood is red-brown.
- Sapwood is creamy pink and easily distinguished from heartwood.
- Grain is medium to coarse, often interlocked.
- Texture is uniform.
- Soft tissue (parenchyma) gives a slight figure (pattern) to the tangential surface.
- Construction: used, in the past, as sawn timber in general house framing, flooring, linings, mouldings and joinery but is rarely these days.
- Decorative: furniture, plywood, shop and office fixtures, carving, turnery, joinery.
- Others: used, in the past, for wine casks, brush stocks.
- Density: 625-640kg/m3 at 12% moisture content; about 1.5m3 of seasoned sawn timber per tonne.
- Strength groups: (S5) unseasoned, (SD6) seasoned.
- Stress grades: F5, F7, F8, F11 (unseasoned); F7, F8, F11, F14 (seasoned) when visually stress graded according to AS 2082—2000, Timber—Hardwood—Visually stress-graded for structural purposes.
- Joint groups: J3 unseasoned, JD3 seasoned.
- Shrinkage to 12% MC: 4.3% (tangential), 2.7% (radial).
- Unit shrinkage: 0.39% (tangential), 0.31% (radial)—these values apply to D. muelleri only.
- Durability above-ground: Class 3 (life expectancy 7–15 years).
- Durability in-ground: Class 3 (life expectancy 5–15 years).
- Lyctine susceptibility: untreated sapwood is susceptible to lyctid borer attack.
- Termite resistance: not resistant.
- Preservation: sapwood readily impregnates with preservatives but the heartwood can’t adequately be treated using available commercial processes.
- Seasoning: satisfactorily dries using conventional air and kiln seasoning.
- Hardness: firm (rated 4 on a 6-class scale) to indent and work with hand tools.
- Machining: machines, and turns well.
- Fixing: no difficulty using standard fittings and fastenings.
- Gluing: satisfactorily bonds using standard procedures.
- Finishing: readily accepts paint, stain and polish.
- Sapwood: creamy pink, distinctly lighter than heartwood.
- Heartwood: red-brown.
- Texture: medium to coarse, grain often interlocked.
- Vessels: medium to large, visible without a lens, mostly in short radial rows of 2–4 cells but with some solitary; lighter colour vessel contents are visible in many specimens; vessel lines prominent on longitudinal surfaces.
- Parenchyma (soft tissue): abundant in fine, wavy, apotracheal bands of slightly lighter colour than the background.
- Rays: fine, not visible without a lens.
- Burning splinter test: match-size splinter burns to charcoal—can use to distinguish from the very similar, closely related, rose mahogany, which burns to a white ash.
Figure (pattern): pleasing but subdued figure, caused by the parenchyma bands; occurs on dressed tangential surfaces.
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.
- Last reviewed: 12 Dec 2018
- Last updated: 12 Dec 2018