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Blackwood

This is the perfect timber for fine furniture, joinery or a feature floor.

The timber

Boasting a variety of colours ranging from light golden-brown to deep brown (sometimes with a reddish tint) and occasionally showing black streaks, the timber radiates a subtle beauty that makes it irresistible to Tasmanian designers. Additional character results from the grain of the wood, which can be straight or wavy with a natural lustre.

Blackwood is easily worked, very stable and long lasting, and blackwood artefacts are always statements of style and quality.

In addition to the supply of solid sections, the availability of high quality veneers has increased the timber's versatility for use in joinery, cabinet making, and feature panelling. Small cross sections of solid timber are also laminated, particularly for bench tops.

The resource

Blackwood is sourced from native forests. It is a common understorey species that readily grows from the coast to 1,000m above sea level but it excels in lowland swampy conditions. It will establish on the lower valley slopes of hilly and mountainous areas, up to the higher hill slopes and tablelands, and even on exposed mountaintops.

Blackwood is short-lived and fast growing. It has a vigorous spreading root system that suckers readily. After fire, it regenerates easily from seed and its young growth is particularly attractive to native animals. Blackwood is fairly resistant to frost, thrives in a moist atmosphere, and can tolerate shady and windy conditions. It grows well in many soil conditions: fertile, loam, poorly drained, well-drained, and even on the residue from tin-sluicing operations.

Blackwood grows best in the swamps and lowlands of the north-west of Tasmania in a variety of wet eucalypt forests. 

36% of total Blackwood forest types are reserved.

The Tree

Blackwood is one of the best known of Tasmania’s wattles. It can reach heights of 35m, but is generally around 10–20m, with a trunk up to 1m in diameter. Smaller trees branch from near ground level (shrub-like), and larger plants in forests have a well-developed trunk below the dense crown.

Blackwood flowers are densely packed, with stalks containing 30–50 ball-shaped flowers. They are whitish to pale yellow - typical of the wattle family - and flower in spring.

Blackwoods make good shade trees with prolific foliage. 
Their leaves are olive green, lance-shaped and up to 16cm in length.

The tree’s bark is brown-grey to dark-grey and hard. It varies in thickness from less than 0.5 cm to 5 cm at the base in large trees and characteristically has long, vertical furrows along the trunk.

Because Blackwood thrives in wet conditions, the shady side of the tree often has a partial covering of grey lichens.

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