Smooth-barked apple

Smooth-barked apple (A. floribunda pictured)

Common Name(s): Smooth-barked apple, Sydney red gum

Scientific Name: Angophora costata

Distribution: Eastern Australia

Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall,

                      2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 61.8 lbs/ft3 (990 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .77, .99

Janka Hardness: 2,250 lbf (10,000 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 19,140 lbf/in2 (132.0 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 2,320,000 lbf/in2 (16.00 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 8,990 lbf/in2 (62.0 MPa) 

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.6%, Tangential: 7.8%,

                        Volumetric: 12.5%, T/R Ratio: 1.7

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is a light reddish brown. Contrasting sapwood is pale yellow. Gum veins are common, and can appear as defects in the facegrain of the wood. Quartersawn pieces with interlocking grain display a ribbon-stripe figure somewhat reminiscent of satinwood.

Grain/Texture: Grain is straight to interlocked. With a coarse texture and good natural luster.

Rot Resistance: Rated as moderately durable to non-durable; poor insect resistance.

Workability: Tends to be somewhat difficult to work on account of its frequent grain defects. Glues 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 smooth-barked apple—possibly due to its relative obscurity. Many species in the closely related Eucalyptus genus can cause skin irritation, as well as a number of other health reactions. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Not harvested or available commercially for structural lumber. Limited quantities can be found regionally—usually as firewood or fencing material. Expect prices to be moderate.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.

Common Uses: Fences, firewood, and small, specialty wood items.

Comments: None.

Images: Drag the slider up/down to toggle between raw and finished wood. Note the small gum inclusion in the upper left corner of the sample—a common defect in this genus.

There are currently no pictures of this exact wood species, but a similar species within the Angophora genus is being substituted (A. floribunda). If you’d like to contribute a wood sample for this webpage, please see the contact form for donating wood samples.

Identification: See the article on Hardwood Anatomy for definitions of endgrain features.

Rough-barked apple (endgrain 10x)
Rough-barked apple (endgrain 1x)

Porosity: diffuse porous

Arrangement: solitary and radial multiples, sometimes arranged in a radial/diagonal pattern

Vessels: large, few; dark brown colored deposits occasionally present

Parenchyma: vasicentric, lozenge, confluent, and banded (marginal)

Rays: medium to wide; normal spacing

Lookalikes/Substitutes: Angophora species can sometimes be confused with Eucalyptus—the two genera are actually botanically very closely related. However, in contrast to Eucalyptus (which has pores that are exclusively solitary), pores in Angophora very frequently occur in radial multiples of two to five.

Notes: Angophora species have intermittent gum inclusions—a conspicuous defect on the face grain—which can help to distinguish it from other similar species.

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