Sheoak (Allocasuarina spp.)
Sheoak (Allocasuarina spp.)

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Common Name(s): Sheoak

Scientific Name: Allocasuarina spp. and Casuarina spp.

Distribution: Australia

Tree Size: 50-130 ft (15-40 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 47 lbs/ft3 (750 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .59, .75

Janka Hardness: 2,190 lbf (9,730 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 15,230 lbf/in2 (105.0 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,549,000 lbf/in2 (10.68 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 6,820 lbf/in2 (47.0 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.0%, Tangential: 10.8%, Volumetric: 14.8%, T/R Ratio: 2.8

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is pink to reddish brown, sometimes with darker blackish streaks. Somewhat well defined sapwood is a light yellowish brown. Very large medullary rays produce a lace-like pattern on quartersawn surfaces.

Grain/Texture: Grain is straight to slightly interlocked. Uniform medium texture with a moderate amount of natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; exclusively solitary; large pores in no specific arrangement, few; parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates, banded; narrow rays not visible without lens, spacing close, aggregate rays are frequently very wide

Rot Resistance: Varies depending on species, many are rated as non-durable, though some are moderately durable or durable. Most species are susceptible to insect attack.

Workability: Denser species can be difficult to work, and overall working properties are considered subpar when compared to domestic hardwoods such as oak (Quercus spp.) Finishes well.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Besides the standard health risks associated with any type of wood dust, no further health reactions have been associated with Sheoak. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Not commonly imported and only infrequently available. Most commonly seen as flooring planks and turning blanks. Figured pieces with lace patterning are much more expensive.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Flooring, cabinetry, tool handles, and other turned objects.

Comments: Not closely related to true oak (Quercus genus), the etymology of the common name Sheoak is ambiguous. Both oaks and sheoaks share a similar ray-flecked appearance on quartersawn surfaces.

Related Species:

Related Articles:

None available.

Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Steve Earis for providing the wood sample and turned photo of this wood species.

Sheoak (Allocasuarina spp.)
Sheoak (sanded)
Sheoak (sealed)
Sheoak (sealed)
Sheoak (endgrain)
Sheoak (endgrain)
Sheoak (endgrain 10x)
Sheoak (endgrain 10x)
Sheoak (turned)
Sheoak (turned)
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Colyn McPherson

She Oak was commonly used as both a flooring Plank, and building frames in the old tropical style houses of the Northern Territory, Australia, not only because it was readily available, but also because it was termite and insect proof.
Many are still in place, surviving severe Cyclones and weathering, with some over 100 years old, with fine examples at Myilly Point Housing Heritage Trust, Darwin, NT.


Grew up with dozens of them around my family’s house in south Florida. Direct hit from hurricanes in 2005 took out most of them, shallow root structure pulls up completely and whole thing goes over. In 1979 Hurricane David toppled an entire interlocking group of about ten to fifteen trees on the riverfront onto the corner of our house. Once we cut them back, we got friends and pushed the cluster back upright and they grew back, the only live ones that are left now. Plenty of intact dead trunks around though unrotted. Heading there for Xmas with my 121cc… Read more »


Have used this for musical instruments
Have had problems with it moving after Dowling and water based two Pac epoxy
Hence the name SHE OAK can give you grief
Although classified as a soft wood it is hard with soft sections
Will continue to use it as it has a good weight for electric guitars

Roy Dowling

needle like leaves, typical conifer, therefore softwood

Ed Davidson

This yo-yo is made from Australian Sheoak. End-grain is facing the camera. Was readily available in the USA 15-20 years ago. Pretty rare these days. If you find some, buy it…a great turning wood.


Casuarina equisetifolia has a 3200 on Janka scale. Its tough on my tools. Very hard to even drill.

Would love to make a 2.1 x 0.8m workbench out of it.

Hast to be milled as its cut or you will destroy a lot of blades

Malcolm Roberts

Etymology is not ambiguous. It was called Sheoak due to the resemblance to oak with the similar medullary rays but was thought to be not as strong a timber, hence the ‘she’.

Morné Becker

The Sheoak I have seen and used looks a bit different. The pattern is much clearer and darker, and slightly different.