Gum, Sydney Blue

Sydney blue gum is an Australian native hardwood timber species that is widely used in general construction and for flooring, furniture and joinery.

Other Names

Blue Gum

Botanical Name

Eucalyptus saligna

Common Form
Sawn
Species Type

Sydney blue gum is a large hardwood species growing to a height of 60 metres or more. It occurs natively in forests along the coast of New South Wales and southern Queensland. Sydney Blue Gum is also extensively grown as a plantation species in South Africa and South America, where rapid growth yields timber of much lower density than Australian material.

Sydney Blue Gum is an important general construction timber, particularly in New South Wales. It is widely used for flooring, cladding, fencing, paneling and boat building. Other common applications include landscaping (as garden sleepers), furniture and joinery.

The heartwood of the species ranges in colour from dark pink to a reddish brown. Sapwood is distinctly paler. The grain of Sydney blue gum timber is typically straight, with occasional interlocking of grain. Texture is moderately coarse and gum veins are common.

Sydney blue gum is a moderately durable timber with a life expectancy for in-ground applications of between eight and 15 years. Untreated sapwood is susceptible to Lyctid borer attack.

Sydney blue gum timber is easy to dry relative to most other eucalypts. It is also easy to work, dress and fix. It responds well to most finishes and takes a good polish, making it popular for decorative applications where moderate durability is required.

 

Shrinkage

Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Tangential :

9.50%

Radial :

5.40%

Unit Movement Tangential:

0.34%

Unit Movement Radial:

0.24%

Strength Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium High

Medium

Reasonably Low

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

S1

S2

S3

S4

S5

S6

S7

S8

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:

F17

F14

F11

F8

F7

Seasoned:

F27

F22

F17

F14

F11

Density per Standard

Seasoned:

840kg/m3

Unseasoned:

1110kg/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:

76

Modulus of Rupture - Seasoned:

122

Modulus of Elasticity - Unseasoned:

12

Modulus of Elasticity - Seasoned:

15

Maximum Crushing Strength - Unseasoned:

41

Maximum Crushing Strength - Seasoned:

66

Impact - Unseasoned:

17

Impact - Seasoned:

18

Toughness - Unseasoned:

Medium - 15 - 24 Nm

Toughness - Seasoned:

Medium - 15 - 24 Nm

Hardness - Unseasoned:

5.8

Hardness - Seasoned:

8.1

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:

Susceptible

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility - Other:

Termite Resistance:

Not Resistant

Fire Properties

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

EFH Spread-of-Flame Index:

EFH Smoke-Developed Index:

Critical Radiance Flux - Lower:

>2.2 and <4.5

Critical Radiance Flux - Higher:

>2.2 and <4.5

Smoke Development Rate:

<750
1 - non-combustible 2 - reasonably non-combustible 3 - slightly combustible 4 - combustible

Fire Properties Group
Number:

Average Specific Extinction Area:

<250

Bushfire Resistance:

BAL 12.5 and 19 – All AS3959 required applications
Appearance

The heartwood of Sydney blue gum ranges in colour from dark pink to reddish brown. The paler sapwood is readily distinguishable. Grain is typically straight with occasional interlocking. Texture is moderately coarse and gum veins are common.

 

Common Applications

Sydney blue gum timber is an important general construction timber, particularly in New South Wales. It is widely used for flooring, cladding, fencing, panelling and boat building. Other common applications include landscaping (as garden sleepers), furniture and joinery.

 

Workability

Sydney blue gum is easy to work, dress and fix. It responds well to most finishes and takes a good polish, making it popular for decorative applications where moderate durability is required.

Origin of timber
NSW
Readily Available
NSW
Sydney blue gum timber is readily available in New South Wales.
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Fencing

When it comes to fencing, timber is a natural choice. A material that is durable, strong and reliable it compliments almost every outdoor landscape and environment. Clear specification, detailed installation and appropriate maintenance will ensure a timber fence provides a natural and lasting property boundary and back drop for years to come.
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Retaining Walls (Landscaping)

When it comes to retaining wall, landscape design and construction, timber is the natural choice. A material that is durable, sturdy and reliable, it has natural aesthetics that help it blend seamlessly with the outdoors. Careful consideration during the specification and design process will facilitate the creation of a long lasting, durable and beautiful timber retaining wall that will complement its surrounding landscape for years to come.
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Stairs, Interior

Timber is the material of choice for designers seeking internal staircases of strength, beauty and durability.
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Cladding, External

The natural appeal, versatility and strength of timber makes it the superior choice for external cladding. Through specification, planning, design and finishing processes, timber cladding not only creates a building of superior strength, acoustic and thermal performance but also creates a place of beauty, style and natural appeal.
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Flooring

The warmth, strength and natural beauty of timber flooring is enduringly popular in a wide variety of domestic, commercial and industrial applications.

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