Common Name(s): Blue Gum, Tasmanian Blue Gum
Scientific Name: Eucalyptus globulus
Distribution: Tasmania and southern Australia; also widely grown on plantations in subtropical regions
Tree Size: 100-180 ft (30-55 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 51 lbs/ft3 (820 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .68, .82
Janka Hardness: 2,370 lbf (10,550 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 19,530 lbf/in2 (134.7 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 2,720,000 lbf/in2 (18.76 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 11,160 lbf/in2 (76.9 MPa)
Shrinkage: Radial: 6.8%, Tangential: 12.8%, Volumetric: 19.7%, T/R Ratio: 1.9
Color/Appearance: Heartwood is a light yellowish brown. Narrow sapwood is a pale gray/white. Boards with mottled figure are sometimes seen, as well as solid burl sections and veneer.
Grain/Texture: Grain is interlocked, with a uniform medium to coarse texture. Low natural luster.
Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; exclusively solitary; large to very large pores in radial/diagonal arrangement, very few; tyloses occasionally present; parenchyma vasicentric; narrow rays not visible without lens, spacing fairly close.
Rot Resistance: Rated as moderately durable, though susceptible to insect attack.
Workability: Gives moderately good results with hand and machine tools, though boards with interlocked grain (especially on quartersawn surfaces) frequently causes tearout during planing and other surfacing operations. Blue Gum tends to have many internal stresses and drying difficulties, and also has a large amount of movement in service, which excludes it from being used in applications where stability is important. Glues and finishes well.
Odor: No characteristic odor.
Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Blue Gum has been reported to cause skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.
Pricing/Availability: Plantation-grown lumber is regularly available (sometimes sold simply as “Eucalyptus”) and is moderately priced for an imported hardwood. Figured boards and burls are likely to be 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: Utility lumber, pallets, paper (pulpwood), fenceposts, flooring, veneer, and turned objects.
Comments: This fast-growing tree is widely cultivated as a plantation species within Australia and other subtropical climates. Plantation grown lumber tends to be lighter and softer, with forest-grown Blue Gum being harder and more dense. The wood is primarily used for pulp and fuel, though some is harvested for woodworking purposes. Blue Gum is generally regarded as a utility lumber.
- Brown Mallee (Eucalyptus dumosa)
- Coolibah (Eucalyptus coolabah)
- Deglupta (Eucalyptus deglupta)
- Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata)
- Karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor)
- Lyptus® (Eucalyptus urograndis)
- Messmate (Eucalyptus obliqua)
- Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans)
- Red Mallee (Eucalyptus oleosa)
- River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis)
- Rose Gum (Eucalyptus grandis)
- Swamp Mahogany (Eucalyptus robusta)
- White Box (Eucalyptus hemiphloia)
- Yellow Box (Eucalyptus melliodora)
- Yellow Gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon)
Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Steve Earis for providing the wood sample and turned photo of this wood species.