Sydney Blue Gum Timber Flooring
Sydney Blue Gum is a large fast growing hardwood which occurs naturally in moist forests on fertile, well drained soils along the east coast of Australia from Batemans Bay in New South Wales to southern Queensland. There are occasional occurrences further north.
Sydney Blue Gum is usually found within 160km of the coast, from sea level up to 300m above sea level in the south and 1200m elevation in the north, in mostly warm, humid climates. The species’ common name comes from its pervasiveness around the Sydney region together with the bark’s bluish tinge.
Sydney Blue Gum is not closely related to the blue gums of VIC or TAS but is closely related to Southern Mahogany and Rose Gum.
Sydney Blue Gum can grow to a height of 60 to 70 metres and two metres in diameter. It generally has a straight trunk with no branches for half to two-thirds of its height. The upper bark is smooth and bluey-grey in colour with a stocking of persistent brown or grey rough bark for one to two metres from ground level.
The heartwood is dark pink to reddish brown while the sapwood is paler. The sapwood of Sydney Blue Gum is susceptible to lyctid borer attack and therefore has to be treated with approved preservatives before it is sold. The texture tends to be moderately coarse and even and the grain is usually straight but may be interlocked. Gum veins are common. The timber dries easily but tangential surfaces tend to be susceptible to surface checking.
Sydney Blue Gum is easy to work with both hand and power tools, is easy to sand and accepts finishes well. It is highly sought after because of its rich, dark colours and is popular in a variety of applications, including flooring, joinery, furniture, panelling and boat building. It is also effective and durable in outdoor landscaping applications and makes excellent firewood. Sydney Blue Gum’s botanical name is Eucalyptus saligna and its Janka rating is 9.0.