Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: We are currently updating information following recent Queensland and Australian Government announcements. Find assistance and support for coronavirus affected businesses and industries.

Red bloodwood

Scientific name

Corymbia gummifera, C. intermedia C. polycarpa. Family: Myrtaceae

Other names

Pale bloodwood (C. gummifera); pink bloodwood (C. intermedia); pale bloodwood; long-fruited bloodwood (C. polycarpa)

Description

  • Medium-sized hardwood tree.
  • Grows to 35m high and 1m diameter.
  • Reddish brown, scaly bark covers the whole tree.
  • Freely exudes red-coloured kino gum.

Occurrence

  • Relatively common in coastal areas from New South Wales to Queensland.

Appearance

Colour

  • Heartwood is dark pink, deep red to red-brown, often with an abundance of kino veins.
  • Sapwood is pale pink to light brown.

Grain

  • Grain is generally interlocked and coarse.
  • Kino veins are often large and concentric.

Uses

  • Engineering: used, previously, as poles, piles, sleepers and mining timbers.
  • Construction: fencing and house stumps.
  • Others: hardboard manufacture.

Properties

  • Density: 1010kg/m3 at 12% moisture content; about 1.0m3 of seasoned, sawn timber per tonne.
  • Strength groups: S3 unseasoned, (SD3) seasoned (brackets indicate provisional value).
  • 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 for structural purposes.
  • Joint groups: J1 unseasoned, JD1 seasoned.
  • Shrinkage to 12% MC: 4.0% (tangential), 3.0% (radial).
  • Unit shrinkage: not available.
  • Durability above-ground: Class 1 (life expectancy more than 40 years).
  • Durability in-ground: Class 1 (life expectancy more than 25 years).
  • Lyctine susceptibility: untreated sapwood susceptible to lyctid borer attack.
  • Termite resistance: C. gummifera and C. polycarpa are not resistant; C. intermedia is resistant.
  • Preservation: sapwood readily impregnates with preservative.
  • Seasoning: seasons satisfactorily but the kino veins may open.
  • Hardness: very hard (rated 1 on a 6-class scale) to indent and working with hand tools.
  • Machining: due to kino veins, red bloodwood is usually used as a round, rather than sawn, timber.
  • Fixing: no difficulty using standard fittings and fastenings.
  • Gluing: as with most high-density species, machine and prepare surface immediately before gluing.
  • Finishing: readily accepts paint, stain and polish.

Identification features

General characteristics

  • Sapwood: pale pink to light brown, distinct from heartwood.
  • Heartwood: pale pink, light red to dark red, red-brown (majority).
  • Texture: coarse open texture, often interlocked grain; concentric gum veins are common.

Wood structure

  • Growth rings: absent, but some specimens have zonate vessel formations.
  • Vessels: medium to large, visible to the unaided eye, numerous; double and multiple pores in radial alignment; prominent vessel lines; vessels tylosed.
  • Parenchyma (soft tissue): very abundant, diffuse and paratracheal—may form zonate bands.
  • Rays: fine.

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.