Redwood

The Sequoia or California redwood is one of the world's most recognisable trees. The strength and rich colours of its softwood timber make it much sought after for decorative purposes, such as paneling, and for outdoor purposes such as decking, fences and garden furniture. 

The heartwood is pale to dark reddish brown, and the sapwood narrow and creamy. Texture is fine and usually even, because there is little difference between the early and late wood. The grain is straight and the wood is not resinous.

Redwood works easily with both hand and machine tools, with little dulling effect on tools. It planes well, provided the cutters are sharp and it splinters easily when working on the end grain. It holds nails well, and paints and finishes satisfactorily. It also stains well, but glues best with alkaline adhesives. The heart wood is more resistant to decay and insects than the sap wood.

The distinctive and very attractive colouring of redwood makes it highly sought after for decorative purposes, such as paneling and cladding, while its resistance to weather and insects makes it a natural choice for external joinery, outdoor furniture, windows and greenhouses. Similarly, its durability makes it useful for vats and tanks.

Today in the USA, a total of 364,000 ha of second growth forest are under active management for timber production. 

Significant quantities of California redwood were imported last century. Once readily available in Australia, it is now difficult to source as new timber. Australian red cedar  is a possible substitute.

Appearance

Redwood heartwood is pale to dark reddish brown and the sapwood narrow and creamy. Texture is fine and usually even because there is little difference between the early wood and the late. The grain is straight and the wood is not resinous.

Common Applications

The distinctive colouring of redwood makes it highly sought after for decorative purposes, such as for paneling and cladding, while its resistance to weather and insects makes it a natural choice for external joinery, outdoor furniture, windows and greenhouses. Similarly, its durability makes it useful for vats and tanks.

Common Form

Sawn

Workability

Redwood works easily with both hand and machine tools, with little dulling effect on tools. It planes well, provided the cutters are sharp, but it splinters easily when working on the end grain. It holds nails well, and paints and finishes satisfactorily. It also stains well, but glues best with alkaline adhesives.

Origin of Timber

VIC

Availability - Further Information

Significant quantities of California Redwood were imported last century. Once readily available in Australia, it is now difficult to source as new timber. Australian red cedar is a possible substitute.

Availability - Further Information

Native Forest

Shrinkage

Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Tangential :

1.90%

Radial:

1.10%

Unit Movement Tangential:

0.12%

Unit Movement Radial:

0.21%

Strength Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium High

Medium

Reasonably Low

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

S1

S2

S3

S4

S5

S6

S7

Seasoned:

SD1

SD2

SD3

SD4

SD5

SD6

SD7

SD8

Stress Grade

Structural
No. 1
Structural
No. 2
Structural
No. 3
Structural
No. 4
Structural
No. 5

Unseasoned:

F8

F7

F5

F4

Seasoned:

F11

F8

F7

F5

F4

Density per Standard

Seasoned:

400kg/m3

Unseasoned:

710kg/m3

Joint Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

J1

J2

J3

J4

J5

J6

Seasoned:

JD1

JD2

JD3

JD4

JD5

JD6

Colour

  White, yellow, pale straw to light brown Pink to pink brown Light to dark red Brown, chocolate, mottled or streaky
   

Mechanical Properties

Modulus of Rupture - Unseasoned:

52

Modulus of Rupture - Seasoned:

69

Modulus of Elasticity - Unseasoned:

8.1

Modulus of Elasticity - Seasoned:

9.2

Maximum Crushing Strength - Unseasoned:

29

Maximum Crushing Strength - Seasoned:

42

Impact - Unseasoned:

Impact - Seasoned:

Toughness - Unseasoned:

Medium - 15 - 24 Nm

Toughness - Seasoned:

Low - up to 15 Nm

Hardness - Unseasoned:

1.8

Hardness - Seasoned:

2.1

Durability

Low Moderate Reasonably High High
(0 - 5 yrs) (5 - 15 yrs) (15 - 25 yrs) (more than 25 yrs)

In-Ground:

(0 - 7 yrs) (7 - 15 yrs) (15 - 40 yrs) (More than 40 yrs)

Above ground:

(0 - 20 yrs, usually < 5) (21 - 40 yrs) (41 - 64 yrs) (More than 60 yrs)

Marine Borer Resistance:

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility:

Not Susceptible

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility - Other:

Termite Resistance:

Resistant

Fire Properties

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

EFH Spread-of-Flame Index:

EFH Smoke-Developed Index:

Bushfire Resistance:

Not Tested

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