Hardwood Species

Australia has a unique resource in its native hardwoods, producing some of the most durable and attractive timbers in the world. Native hardwoods are sourced from managed forests and more recently from plantations and farm forestry. Australia also imports a number of hardwood timbers from overseas.

The distinction between hardwood and softwood is botanical, rather than referring to the strength or hardness of the wood. Hardwoods are relatively broad-leafed trees with seeds that are produced in an enclosed form, such as a fruit or nut; softwoods are coniferous or cone bearing trees with needle-like leaves. Due to a higher density, hardwood is usually stronger than softwood but this is not always the case; for example, balsa is a hardwood and white cypress is very strong softwood.

Hardwood timbers are ideal for high strength structural applications, such as bearers, joists, lintels and roof beams. The natural durability of most hardwoods also makes them perfect for external applications, such as decking and cladding, and for interior flooring and stairs. Hardwood timbers are also highly recyclable due to their long above-ground life, with some of Australia’s indigenous hardwood species, such as jarrah, blackwood and red gum, much prized for recycled flooring, panelling, furniture and landscaping.

To find the right timber for your project, search hardwood species using botanical name, common name or applications.


Search Hardwood


92 result(s) found

  • American red alder timber is light brown in colour with a reddish tinge, making it a popular substitute for cherry. It is mainly used for furniture, cabinetry and interior mouldings.

    Alder, American Red

    Botanical name: Alnus rubra, Common name: Alder, American Red.
    American red alder grows on the west coast of the USA and is the most common commercial hardwood in that region. This attractive timber is used for furniture, interior mouldings, doors and turning and carving.
  • American ash is a light-coloured hardwood with good strength properties that is used in flooring, furniture and architectural interiors.

    Ash, American

    Botanical name: Fraxinus spp., Common name: Ash, American.
    American ash is the trade name for a number of sub species of ash that grow throughout the eastern USA. It is a versatile and attractive hardwood with good strength properties.
  • Crow’s ash is a highly durable Australian hardwood with a rich, golden appearance.

    Ash, Crow’s

    Botanical name: Flindersia australis, Common name: Ash, Crow’s.
    Crow’s ash is a large hardwood species that is native to northern NSW and parts of Queensland. It is used mainly for flooring, boat building and outdoor furniture.
  • Mountain ash is an Australian hardwood with a pale brown to pinkish appearance.

    Ash, Mountain

    Botanical name: Eucalyptus regnans, Common name: Ash, Mountain.
    Mountain ash is a large Australian hardwood that can be used for timber framing, flooring, internal applications and furniture.
  • Silvertop ash is a large, moderately durable Australian hardwood that grows in the southern and central coast and tablelands of New South Wales, eastern Victoria and north eastern Tasmania.

    Ash, Silvertop

    Botanical name: Eucalyptus sieberi, Common name: Ash, Silvertop.
    Silvertop ash is a large Australian hardwood that is commonly used for general construction and flooring.
  • Victorian ash is the trade name of two of Australia’s largest and most attractive hardwoods.

    Ash, Victorian

    Botanical name: E. delegatensis & E. regnans, Common name: Ash, Victorian.
    Victorian ash the trade name of two large Australian hardwoods that can be used for timber framing, internal applications and furniture.
  • Balau is a highly durable hardwood that is features a yellow to brown appearance.


    Botanical name: Shorea albida, Common name: Balau.
    Native to Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, balau is a dense hardwood used mainly for heavy construction.
  • Balsa

    Botanical name: Ochroma pyramidale, Common name: Balsa.
    Balsa wood is the lightest and softest commercial hardwood timber. White to oatmeal in colour with high silky lustre. Density 160 (120-220)kgm3, commercially preferred density range 120-160kgm3. Strength and stiffness approximately 50% that of Baltic pine (Pinus sylvestris).
  • Myrtle beech is an Australian hardwood of a rich reddish-brown appearance.

    Beech, Myrtle

    Botanical name: Nothofagus cunninghamii, Common name: Beech, Myrtle.
    Myrtle beech is an attractive Australian hardwood used for internal-use applications such as decorative veneers, paneling, joinery and flooring.
  • White birch is a medium sized hardwood often used for plywood and furniture.

    Birch, White

    Botanical name: Betula pubescens, Common name: Birch, White.
    White birch is a medium-sized hardwood native to parts of Europe, northern Asia, the Arctic and North America. (This is not Australian white birch)

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