Australian Buloke (Allocasuarina luehmannii)

Australian Buloke (Allocasuarina luehmannii)

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Common Name(s): Australian Buloke, Bulloak

Scientific Name: Allocasuarina luehmannii

Distribution: Eastern Australia

Tree Size: 30-50 ft (9-15 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 69 lbs/ft3 (1,110 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .86, 1.11

Janka Hardness: 3,760 lbf (16,740 N)

Modulus of Rupture: No data available

Elastic Modulus: No data available

Crushing Strength: No data available

Shrinkage: No data available

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is reddish brown. Somewhat well defined sapwood is a light yellowish brown. Very large aggregate rays produce a lace-like pattern on quartersawn surfaces. Rays are so large, some pieces have visible ray flecking on flatsawn surfaces.

Grain/Texture: Grain is straight to slightly interlocked. Uniform medium texture with good 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: No data available.

Workability: Can be difficult to work on account of its hardness. Tearout can occur during planing or surfacing, especially on quartersawn surfaces in the rays. Turns and 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 Buloke. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Seldom available outside Australia. Occasionally available as small turning blocks or craft blanks. Prices are high for an imported hardwood.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. However, while the tree species itself may not be directly threatened by extinction, certain stands in Victoria and New South Wales are listed as endangered by the government of Australia.

Common Uses: Knife handles, flooring, fine furniture, and turned objects.

Comments: No data available.

Related Species:

Related Articles:

Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Don Wan for providing the wood sample of this wood species, including a very large slab!

Australian Buloke (Allocasuarina luehmannii)

Australian Buloke (sanded)

Australian Buloke (sealed)

Australian Buloke (sealed)

Australian Buloke (endgrain)

Australian Buloke (endgrain)

Australian Buloke (endgrain 10x)

Australian Buloke (endgrain 10x)

Australian Buloke (slab)

Australian Buloke (slab)

Buloke (35" x 8.5")

Buloke (35″ x 8.5″)

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXGAOyQ-gwg

  • David McGuire

    Is the Janka haradness really over 500?!?! that would make it the hardest wood in the world would it not?

    • ejmeier

      I think you mean 5000, not 500.

      I definitely have my doubts about this number. I’m currently investigating it more, but it seems to be abnormally high. I don’t dispute that somewhere, someone tested an abnormally heavy sample of this wood that had a hardness that high. What I do dispute is the fact that this could possibly be considered the AVERAGE hardness for the wood, given its average dried weight.

      To put it into perspective, Sheoak is a very closely related species in the Allocasuarina genus, with nearly identical dried weight, and it’s Janka hardness is much more reliably documented, and it’s only 2,830 lbf (12,600 N). This is much more in line with what a wood of this weight should be. I can understand a related species being a little higher than this, but nearly DOUBLE!? . . like I said, I have my doubts. (This is why it isn’t listed on my article on the top ten hardest woods.)

      • John Fanning

        I deal with buloke all the time, it is by far the hardest wood on earth. It is easier to break with a sledge hammer or run a block splitter along a split than using a saw. It’s hardness makes it brittle like cast iron, makes excellent firewood than turns to clean charcoal that you simply burn again and again.

  • Mike

    Well, the janka test is a spherical styli so the hardness reflected would increase exponentially, (intuitively it feels they should have used a cone but i’m sure they know more about it than me) so a wood a little harder should have an exponentially greater janka number.

  • We have sanded once an Australian buloke floor in London and it really is the hardest wood on Earth! It was one of the most difficult wood flooring restoration jobs we have ever had…

    • dhduncan

      I would love to see that floor, difficult from Melbourne Australia though…

  • Tom

    I recently visited a stand of Buloke trees the timber it seems is susceptible to insect attack, some recently fallen pieces had been chewed up by termites. It also checks and splits readily not mention most pieces have a slight twist along their length. I’m yet to do a strength test but it seems to be stronger than its relative the Sheoak. Trouble is finding these trees amongst Black Oaks and other species that grow nearby as they are very similar. A few strokes dulled my hatchet at an almost staggering speed. If it wasn’t for the fact that large trees are hard to come by and its hard the dry outside of board cuts, it’d be one of Australia’s best hardwoods

  • J X

    I don’t think the hardness listed here is correct. It does not agree with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_hardness_test or with any other sources I could find, which all list Australian Buloke as 5060 lbf.