Red Gum Fact Sheet(Eucalyptus rostrata syn. E. camaldulensis )


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Data for the Red Gum (Eucalyptus rostrata syn. E. camaldulensis )

Common Names

Red river gum
Murray red gum
Queensland blue gum
Red gum

Common Uses

Mine timbers
Building construction
Cabin construction
Concrete formwork
Domestic flooring
Factory construction
Factory flooring
Form work
Foundation posts
Heavy construction
Interior construction
Light construction
Parquet flooring
Pile-driver cushions
Porch columns
Rough construction
Stair  rails

Numerical Values
Category                    Green Dry Unit
Bending Strength                    9290 14700 psi
Crushing Strength (Perp.)                     1070 1660 psi
Max. Crushing Strength                     4720 7920 psi
Static Bending (FSPL)                     5380 8690 psi
Stiffness                1160 1620 1000 psi
Hardness                           2165 lbs
Shearing Strength                           2220 psi
Toughness                          94 in-lbs
Specific Gravity                   0.69     0.82   psi
Weight                      51 lbs/cu.ft.
Density (Air-dry)                      51 lbs/cu.ft.

Species Distribution

REGIONS: Oceania and S.E. Asia

COUNTRIES: Australia

Physical and Environmental Profile

Environmental Profile
The environmental status of this species within its geographical range has not been officially determined.

The species is reported to grow mainly on river banks, reaching its best development along the Murray River in New South Wales and Victoria in Australia.  It is also reported to be widely distributed throughout south Australia and Queensland.

Product Sources
It is not known at present whether timber from this species is obtainable from sustainably managed or other environmentally responsible sources.

Tree Data
The tree is described as medium in size, often with a short bole.  It is reported to reach a height of about 115 feet (35 m), with a trunk diameter of up to 80 inches (200 cm).  Tree height is reported to occasionally reach 150 feet (45 m).

Heartwood Color
The age and location of the tree is reported to determine the color of the wood, which varies from pink to red.

The interlocked and often wavy grain is reported to produce a fiddleback and distinctly mottled figure on quartersawn surfaces.

The wood has a close and even texture.

There is no characteristic odor or taste.

Ease of Drying
The timber is reported to dry well with care.

Drying Defects
Gum pockets may cause distortion and longitudinal shrinkage may be excessive without proper care.

Movement in Service
The timber is reported to be dimensionally stable, with only small movement in use.

Natural Durability
The material is reported to have high natural resistance against attack by termites and marine borers. It is reported to be well suited for use under conditions where it will remain in water or damp soil for an extended period of time.

Resistance to Impregnation
Heartwood resistance to impregnation is rated as very high but the sapwood is permeable.

Gum Content
The wood frequently has gum pockets.

Blunting Effect
The wood is reported to have medium blunting effect on cutting edges.

Cutting Resistance
The timber is reported to be difficult to saw because of the presence of gum and interlocked grain.

A reduced cutting angle of 20 degrees has been recommended in planing.  The presence of gum and interlocked grain is reported to affect the machining properties, and the timber is generally difficult to plane, bore, mortise, sand, turn, and work in all woodworking operations. It responds poorly to most ordinary tools, and requires very sharp cutting edges for satisfactory results. 

Sharp cutters are required to bore the wood satisfactorily.

Carving characteristics are reported to be rather poor.

Gum exudation is reported to interfere with the gluing properties of the material.  The surface of the timber requires to be pre-treated.

Pre-boring is recommended in nailing.

Screw-holding properties are reported to be good.

The timber is reported to have satisfactory sanding characteristics.

Polishing properties are reported to be satisfactory.

Steam Bending
Gum exudation is reported to prevent the use of the timber for steam bending.

Response to Hand Tools
The material responds rather poorly to hand tools.

Reference Sources
Numerical Data Source
Bolza, E., Kloot, N. H. 1963. The Mechanical Properties of 174 Australian Timbers. Technological Paper No. 25. Division of Forest Products, Center for Scientific and Industrial Organization (CSIRO), Melbourne, Australia.

Descriptive Data Source
Lincoln, W.A. 1986. World Woods in Color. Linden Publishing Co. Inc., Fresno, California.

Hillis, W.E. and A.G. Brown, Editors. 1984. Eucalyptus for Wood Production. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Academic Press, Australia.

Wallis, N.K. 1956. Australian Timber Handbook. Sponsored by The Timber Development Association of Australia. Angus & Robertson, Ltd., 89 Castlereagh Street, Sydney, Australia.

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