USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
(608) 231-9200

 

Wood Technology Transfer Fact Sheet

Eucalyptus globulus

Bluegum

Family: Myrtaceae

Other Common Names: None.

Distribution: Found mainly in Tasmania (Australia) but extensively cultivated in plantations in subtropical regions, has been favored in California and Hawaii.

The Tree: In its natural habitat reaches a height of 150 ft with a trunk diameter of 3 to 5 ft.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood pale yellow brown; sapwood grayish white. Grain usually interlocked; texture moderately coarse; luster rather low; without distinctive odor or taste; frequently contains gum veins that may detract from the appearance.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) about 0.80 for forest-grown material and 0.67 for plantation-grown; air-dry density 61 and 51 pcf respectively.

Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)

Green (6) 12,200 2,160 6,180

12% 21,200 2,950 12,000

Green (40) 11,200 2,010 5,250

12% 16,600 2,370 9,940

Janka side hardness 1,540 to 2,580 lb for dry material. Forest Products Laboratory toughness 209 in.-lb for green material and 234 in.-lb for dry (5/8- in. specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: Somewhat difficult to season, prone to checking with some tendency to warp and collapse. Kiln schedule T3-C2 is suggested for 4/4 stock with reconditioning treatment (steaming) at a moisture content of 20% to remove collapse. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 8%; tangential 12%. Movement in service is large.

Working Properties: Saws well, torn grain is common when dressing quartered faces. Rotary peels well if bolts are heated.

Durability: Heartwood moderately resistant to decay; sapwood vulnerable to powder-post beetle attack as well as termites.

Preservation: Sapwood is responsive to open tank and pressure treating systems; heartwood is believed to be difficult to impregnate.

Uses: Pallets, fenceposts, general construction, utility plywood, flooring, pulp and paper products.

Additional Reading: (6), (40), (57)

6. Bolza, E., and N. H. Kloot. 1963. The mechanical properties of 174 Australian timbers. CSIRO Div. For. Prod. Technol. Pap. For. Prod. Aust. No. 25.

40. Markwardt, L. J., and T. R. C. Wilson. 1935. Strength and related properties of woods grown in the United States. U.S. Dep. of Agric., Tech. Bull. No. 479.

57. Skolmen, R. G. 1974. Some woods of Hawaii. . . properties and uses of 16 commercial species. USDA Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-8. Pac. Southwest For. and Range Exp. Stn., Berkeley, Calif.

From: Chudnoff, Martin. 1984. Tropical Timbers of the World. USDA Forest Service. Ag. Handbook No. 607.