Messmate is a hardwood native to Tasmania and Victoria and the tablelands of New South Wales and southern Queensland. It has been known to grow to 90 metres tall, with a trunk up to three metres in diameter.
A well-known Australian hardwood that is in high demand for a wide variety of applications, messmate is often sold with mountain ash as Vic ash or Tasmanian oak. It varies in colour from pale browns through to light yellows with subtle hints of peach. The sapwood is pale yellow to pale brown, with light brown heartwood. A species rich and warm in detail, it has an even, moderately coarse texture. The sometimes interlocking, straight grains feature beautifully defined rings. Gum veins are quite common.
Messmate timber has moderate hardness and strength, but low durability. It splits easily and is susceptible to lyctid borer attack. It is relatively easy to work, glue and it bends well. It will readily accept stains, paints and polishes but can be difficult to impregnate with preservatives.
Messmate is mostly used for pulp production and general construction and manufacture, especially framing above ground (when protected), internal flooring, paneling, plywood, protected external use, internal joinery and furniture.
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