TASMANIAN OAK (AUSTRALIAN ASH)
|Eucalyptus delegatensis, E. obliqua & E. regnans
|The different hues of Tasmanian Oak
|Warm, dense and resilient, Tasmanian Oak is the preferred hardwood for a wide range of applications. It can be used in all forms of construction as scantlings, panelling and flooring, and can be glue-laminated to cover long spans. Veneers, plywood and engineered products are also available. It is also a popular furniture timber, and eucalypt fibre is sought after for reconstituted board and the production of high quality paper.
Tasmanian Oak is light in colour, varying from straw to reddish brown with intermediate shades of cream to pink. It is recognised for its excellent staining qualities, which allow ready matching with other timbers, finishes or furnishings.
Tasmanian Oak is the name used for three almost identical species of eucalypt hardwoods that are normally marketed collectively. Alpine ash (E. delegatensis) grows at higher altitudes, while Mountain ash (E. regnans) is found in wetter sites. Messmate (E. obliqua) has a wide distribution, occurring in wet forests but also extending into drier areas. The name Tasmanian Oak was originally used by early European timber workers who believed the eucalypts showed the same strength as English Oak.
Eucalypts are light demanding and grow best where they are not overshadowed. Regeneration occurs after fire, and seedlings establish best on bare mineral soil in the absence of leaf litter. In Tasmania, eucalypts may live for 400 years or more and regularly attain a height of 70m; some individuals have been recorded as reaching 100m. Mature trees may be 3-4m or more in diameter.