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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.