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Plantation Ash

Strong, stable and attractive, Plantation Ash is an exclusively plantation grown hardwood suitable for a wide range of applications internally and, if treated, externally.

The timber

The timber can be used structurally in commercial, industrial or domestic construction in solid, nail-plated, glue-laminated or truss forms. It is also suitable for flooring and panelling, joinery and furniture. Planing or sanding to an excellent finish, the wood accepts the full commercially available range of adhesives and finishes.

The timber is strong, stable and moderately hard. Pale in tone, with colouring from light pink to pale brown and blonde, the wood readily accepts stains to match any application. Timber from unpruned plantations often includes a range of feature characteristics.

Plantation eucalypt fibre is the preferred choice for papermaking worldwide with high fibre yield and light colour requiring less bleaching than other wood fibre.

The resource

Plantation Ash is not native to Tasmania but is commonly grown as a plantation species, replacing Tasmanian Blue Gum in the higher, colder areas of the state. It is fairly robust but does not tolerate dry sites. Plantation Ash prefers slopes and mountain tops. It grows in tall open forest formation and its best development occurs on deep rich loamy soils over clay, and soils that include basalt, granite schist, shale and sandstone. 

This frost resistant species was originally located in Victoria and south-eastern NSW. It was selected for Tasmanian plantations because of its quick growth rate and resistance to frost and insect attack. 

Plantation Ash is grown in 158,900 hectares of plantations across the state. This is approximately 62% of the State’s total plantation estate.

The Tree

In native forests, Plantation Ash (or Shining Gum) is a large hardwood that grows between 40 and 70m, and can on occasion reach heights of 90m. In Tasmania, the species rarely attain these heights as it is grown solely as a plantation timber. It was introduced as a commercial species in the late 1970s.

The buds of Plantation Ash occur in clusters of seven, producing white flowers from January to March. Their fruits are ovoid, have a shiny surface and grow to 4–7mm in length.

Young leaves are oval-shaped, grey-green and have a very pleasant fruity smell. The adult leaves are lance-shaped, and mature to a green and glossy growth up to 25cm long.

Plantation Ash is known as Shining Gum in native forests due to the smoothness and shine of its bark. On the lower trunk the bark is grey to grey-brown and slightly rough and flaky. Above this it is smooth, white, grey or yellow, and sheds in long ribbons.

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