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Timber.

— The wood of this is the deepest in colour, and also the softest and least valuable of the ironbarks. The tree is often pipy and gnarled, but in many places it is a fine timber tree. Where one of the other ironbarks is available, this ironbark suffers by comparison; nevertheless, it is a useful timber, and is employed


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in public works for such purposes as railway sleepers and posts, where long lengths are unnecessary. Frequently good lengths cannot be obtained, and if they could the tensile strength of this timber is not equal to that of the best ironbark.

This tree has a straight even bole; the timber is of the highest reputation for strength and durability, and is very much used for large beams in stores for heavy goods, poles for bullock drays, railway sleepers, girders and piles for bridges, and other purposes where great strength is required. It is one of the best fuel woods in New South Wales for domestic uses and steam-engines. Its average weight is from 75 to 78lb per cubic foot when green, and it loses 3 to 5lb. in drying within the first two years. — (General Report, Sydney International Exhibition, 1879) Colour of timber dark red. A most valuable and durable timber for all kinds of outdoor and strong work. It is extensively used for fencing and building, railway sleepers, girders, beams, joists, shafts of drays, and all descriptions of work where strength and durability are required. — (Forest Ranger Postlethwaite, of Grenfell.) Red Ironbark very plentiful all over the Mudgee district. Used for naves, spokes, shafts, and nearly every description of rough carpentry. The timber of this species growing in this district seems to be easier worked than similar trees growing elsewhere. — (Forest Ranger Marriott, Mudgee.)

Found about Harvey's Range, Dubbo, and a small patch on Hermitage Plains. Timber red and soft; soon wears. Not considered a good timber. Will not be taken for public works. Used for fencing. — (Forest Ranger Martin.) With reference to the statement about public works, it is inferior to Eucalyptus crebra, but Mr. Deane (Engineer-in-Chief for Railway Construction) told me he would use it for sleepers, as its durability is good. He informed me that he would judge each sleeper on its merits, no matter from what species of Ironbark it may have come.

The timber is used freely for railway sleepers, and althougb it is considered one of the finest woods of the west, it is not to be compared for general use with Eucalyptus panicalata, Sm , the Grey or White Ironbark of the coast. The wood of the latter tree is tough, while that of the Western one is comparatively dry and brittle. — (R. H. Cambage.)

A railway engineer informed Mr. J. V. de Coque that his experience of Mugga only gave the timber a six or seven years' life.

Mr. J. V. de Coque gives the following interesting, notes of Mugga and Ironbark (Eucalyptus crebra) in the Dubbo district, where both are abundant and associated:—

On entering a forest where the two timbers grow the Mugga shows first — seems to grow at its best on outskirts of timber belt. The two timbers, Mugga (sideroxylon) and Ironbark (crebra), are easily distinguished growing owing to the deep red colour of the Mugga bark and the gum crystals which are embedded throughout the bark. The Mugga seems to be the happy home of the big grub Eudoxyla, and from what I can learn from the saw-millers, they state that they rarely find any hole to denote the entrance of the insect. In sawing Mugga timber it rapidly clogs the teeth of the saw with a resinous substance. It is therefore objectionable to the sawyer. I cut two logs myself over the circular-saw bench. The ironbark piece cut clear, the Mugga even in so short a piece clogged the teeth.

The only timber I know which puts so much resinous matter on the saw is the Eucalyptus globulus of Victoria and Tasmania, which can only be cut to satisfaction with a spray of water constantly flowing between the teeth.

Eucalyptus sideroxylon is not a common tree in Victoria, hence the following unpublished notes by the late Mr. G. Perrin, Inspector of Forests, in 1898, are interesting:—

The Red Ironbark (Eucalyptus sideroxylon)note is next to Red Gum (Eucalyptus rostrata) in commercial importance, and, like the Red Gum, this tree has been shamefully misused in the past, and for this misuse the miner


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is responsible. It is a most valuable timber tree, and for manufacturing purposes is far more so than Red Gum; the texture or grain of the wood is not unlike that of Jarrah, but it is not interlocked, being more fissile or straight in the grain. The wood is clean, without knots, and singularly free from faults common to most eucalypts — gum-wells, veins, or dry rot.

A marked peculiarity of this tree is its preference for auriferous localities, as it is invariably found growing on the quartz ironstone ridges along the main leads of the more important gold-fields. The tree is a fast grower, and has a clean straight stein, with an average height of 40 feet.

Matured timber is now very scarce, and on the most of the gold-fields it has been cut out. Millions of young trees are taking the place of the old matured ones, and in a few years, with care and attention, large quantities of this valuable wood will be again available. The timber is suitable for wood blocks and carriage or coach building. It is a tree which should be specially protected by proclamation from cutting in its sapling state. Ten of thousands of young trees have been cut on all the mining centres for firewood for engine fires as well as household use.

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