River red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) is an iconic Australian tree, yielding an equally iconic Australian timber. The timber has a reputation for durability, strength and its distinctive red colouring. Its wide availability has seen it used for a range of applications including heavy construction, railway sleepers, flooring, framing, fencing, plywood and veneer manufacture, wood turning, firewood and charcoal production. It was also commonly used as street paving throughout Sydney in the late 1800s.
The river red gum has a widespread distribution around the Australian mainland, except southern Western Australia, south-western South Australia and the eastern coastal areas of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. In keeping with its name, this species is commonly found along the rivers. It can withstand submersion during floods for long periods. The hallmark of river red gum timber is its distinctive red appearance. The heartwood is red to reddish brown in colour with the timber’s texture having some coarseness. The grain is commonly interlocked with frequent gum veins. The timber’s charm is often best showcased in furniture; the spectacular deep red colour and the typical fiddle-back figure of river red gum timber make each piece of furniture unique. The heartwood of the river red gum displays considerable durability (class 2), allowing for a range of exterior applications, including heavy commercial construction, general framing, sleepers, flooring, panelling and joinery.
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