Tallowwood is an extremely hard, durable and versatile Australian native hardwood species. Its timber products are suitable for a wide range of applications.
Tallowwood is a moderate to large tree occurring in wet sclerophyll forests of coastal regions from the Hunter River district of New South Wales to Maryborough and Fraser Island, Queensland.
The heartwood of this species ranges in colour from pale to dark yellow-brown, with occasional tinges of olive green. Sapwood is a whitish colour. The texture of Tallowwood timber is moderately coarse, generally with interlocked grain. Unusually for a eucalypt species, Tallowwood is free of gum veins. Figure is lacking but the timber possesses a distinctive lustre and ‘greasy’ appearance.
Tallowwood timber products exhibit exceptional durability in both in-ground and aboveground applications, where life expectancy is greater than 25 and 40 years, respectively. Although Tallowwood is highly resistant to decay and will withstand damp and wet conditions quite well, its sapwood is susceptible to Lyctid borer (powder post beetle) attack. Untreated timber of this species is equivalent to ‘fire retardant treated timber’ when tested in accordance with AS/NZS 3837.
Historically, Tallowwood has been used for bearings, mallet heads, mauls, wheel spokes, and tool handles. Current engineering applications include wharf and bridge construction (as sawn and round timber), railway sleepers, cross-arms, poles, piles and mining timbers. Construction uses range from unseasoned framing to dressed timber cladding, internal and external flooring, linings and joinery. Tallowwood is also used in fencing, landscaping and the construction of retaining walls. Decorative uses include outdoor furniture, turnery and joinery. Other applications include boat building, the construction of coaches, carriages and agricultural machinery, and structural plywood.