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GOOD WOOD GUIDE

SOUTH EAST ASIAN TIMBERS TO AVOID

SOUTH PACIFIC TIMBERS TO AVOID

AFRICAN TIMBERS TO AVOID

AUSTRALIAN RAINFOREST TIMBERS TO AVOID

OTHER AUSTRALIAN TREES USED FOR TIMBER

GOODWOOD BUSINESS AND SERVICE NETWORK

INFORMATION ON PAPER

Main Index

SOUTH EAST ASIAN RAINFOREST TIMBERS TO AVOID

Name
Origin
Uses
Ebony - See Vietnamese Ebony

Jelutong

(Dyerea costulata)

Indonesia and Malaysia. Used for latex production by local people. Wood is white or straw coloured. picture. frames, drawing boards, pencils, pattern work, etc. Listed as *requiring conservation action' (FAO 1984)

Jongkong

(Dactyloclaclus crypteroniaceae)

Malaysia, Sarawak. light construction, interior joinery, furniture parts, packing cases.

Kapur

(Dryobalanops spp.)

Other names: Borneo Teak, Borneo Camphorwood, Keladin.

South East Asia, Sumatra, Borneo (including Sarawak). joinery, construction, furniture and decking. Listed as 'requiring conservation action' (FAO 1984)

Kauri

(Agathis alba)

Other names: Agathis, Almaciga, Damar Minyak.

Philippines and Malaysia. A conifer imported as plywood. The tree has many other uses locally, including resin.

Kempas

(Koompassia malaccensis)

Other names: Impas (Sabah), Mengris (Sarawak), Tualang.

Malaysia and Indonesia. Found in lowland forest in swampy area of both countries. Heartwood
is orange red with numerous yellow brown streaks. Listed as 'requiring conservation action'
(FAO 1984)

Keruing

(Dipterocarpus spp.)

Other names: Apitong, Yang (Thailand) and Gerjun (Malaysia).

Malaysia and Burma. Light to dark reddish brown co)our. Listed as *requiring conservation action" (FAO, 1984). Nearly all the 26 Dipterocarpus species listed as threatened are marketed as Keruing (FOE/WRAG 1992).
Lauan/Meranti Group South East Asia. plywood. The term Lauan or *Philippine mahogany" is applied to three
genera (Shorea spp.; Parshorea spp. and Pentacme spp.). Meranti and Seraya are common names
applied only to the genera Shorea. Various Shorea species such as S. curtisii and S. platyclados
are listed as 'requiring conservation action" (FAO 1984).

Melunak

(Pentace spp.)

Other names: Thitka, Baru Baran (Sarawak).

Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia. Heartwood is light to deep reddish brown. furniture, cabinets, paneling.

Mengkulang

(Hedteierd spp.)

Other names: Lumbayau, Rosarosa.

Indonesia and Fiji. Heartwood is dark reddish brown. plywood.

Meranti

(Shorea spp.)

Other names: Tanguile, Almon, Mayapis, Seraya.

Malaysia and Indonesia. mouldings, dowels and architraves.

Merbau

(Intsia spp.)

Other names: lpil, Vesi.

South East Asia. Heartwood is brown or dark red brown. construction, furniture, skirting, joinery, wood turning and musical instruments. Listed as .vulnerable" (FAO 1984).

Mersawa

(Anisoptera spp.)

Malaysia to East Pakistan, PNG. plywood

Narra

(Pterocarpus indicus)

Other names: Amboyna Wood, New Guinea Rose Wood.

furniture, interior finish of boats and cars.

Nyatoh

(Palaquium spp.)

Other names: Balam, Bitis, Ketiau, Jangkar, Bauvudi.

Malaysia. Heartwood is pinkish to light brown. general construction, furniture, mouldings.
Pacific Maple - See Lauan
Philippine Mahogany - See Lauan

Ramin

(Gonystylus spp.)

Other names: Baygo, Melawis, Lanutan, Mavota.

Malaysia (including Sarawak and Borneo), Indonesia, including Sumatra, and Fiji. It is one of
the few moderately heavy woods known as a "blond' wood.
furniture, mouldings, picture frames, dowels, fine joinery and some tool handles. It is listed as .vulnerable" and "over-exploited, shows poor regeneration' (FAO 1984).

Teak

Tectona grandis)

Burma, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia. Heartwood is medium brown. flooring, ship-building and decking, turnery and furniture (both outside and inside types).

Vietnamese Ebony

(Diospyros mun)

Vietnam, Laos.

The Good Wood and Paper Guide FRIENDS OF THE EARTH 1999

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SOUTH PACIFIC TIMBERS TO AVOID

Common Name
Botanical Name

Almaciga also called Fijian Kauri

Agathis spp.
Amberoi Pterycombium beccarii
Amoora Amoora cucullata
Basswood Endospermum spp.
Bauvudi also called Pencil Cedar Palaquium fidjiense or vitilenvuense
PNG Beech Nothofagus spp.
Wau Beech Elmerrillia spp.
Calophyllum Calophyllum spp
Campnosperma Campnosperma spp.
Cheesewood Alstonia scholaris
Dafo Terminalia brassii
Dakua Makadre Agathis Vitiensis
Dakua Salusalu Decussocarpus vitiensis
Damanu also called Fiji Cedar Calophyllum neo-ebudicum of vitiense
Erima Octomeles sumatrana
Gmelina Gmelina moluccana
Hopea Hopea spp.
Kalantas Toona spp.
Kamarere Eucalyptus deglupta
Kaudamu also called Fijian Oak or Darah Darah Myristica spp.
Kauvula Endospermum macrophyllum
Kwila Papua New Guinea name for Merbau Intsia spp.
Labula Anthocephalus spp.
Mahogany Swietenia spp.
Malas Homalium foetidum
Movota - Fijian name for Ramin Gonystylus spp.
Narra also called Rosewood Pterocarpus indicus
New Guinea Oak Castanopsis spp. and Lithocarrus spp.
Paduak also called PNG Rosewood Pterocarpus indicus
Palclao also called Dao or New Guinea Walnut Dracontomelum spp.
Planchonella Planchonella torricellensis
White Planchonella Planchonella kaernbachiana
Rimu Dacrydium cupressinum
Rosarosa also called Red Cedar Heriteiera spp.
Simpoh Dellenia spp.
Spondias Spondias spp.
Taun also called Kasai Pometia spp.
Red/Brown/Yellow Terminalia Terminalia spp.
Vesi Fijian name for Merbau Intsia spp.
Vitex Vitex confassus
PNG Walnut Dracontomelon spp.
Watergum also called Asi-toa or Yasiyasi Syzygium spp.
Yaka Dacrydium elatum


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AFRICAN TIMBERS TO AVOID

NAME
ORIGIN
USES

Iroko

(Chlorophora excelsa and regia)

Other names: African Teak, Kambala

Ivory Coast, Liberia, Ghana. Heartwood is pale yellowish brown to dark brown. joinery~ furniture, marine work and veneer. Listed as 'endangered' in the 'Report of the Fifth
Session of the FAO Panel of Experts on Forest Gene Resources* (FAO 1981)

Koto

(Pterygota macrocarpa)

Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Cameroon. veneer

Limba

(Tenninalia superba)

Other names: Afara

Zaire Heartwood varies from grey white to yellow brown with some dark streaks which are
almost black.
veneers, joinery and furniture.

Obeche

(Triplochiton scerpxylon)

Other Names: Ayous, Samba.

West Central Africa. Wood is creamy white to yellow. veneers.

Okoume

(Aucoumea klaineana)

Other names: Gaboon or Samara.

West Africa Plywood and blockboard, furniture. Endangered. Listed as 'vulnerable" in FAO (1984) report, *A Guide to in situ Conservation of Genetic Resources of Tropical Woody Species, Cameroon".


Padauk

(Pterocarpus spp.)

Other names: Vermillon, Pradu.

Africa, Andaman Islands. Heartwood is orange to orange red. wall panelling, furniture, decorative crafts.

Sapele

(Entrandrophragma cylindricum)

Other names: Sapelli, Acajou d' Afrique, African
Mahogany.

Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria. Heartwood ranges in colour from medium red to purplish brown. decorative veneers. Li,sted by the International Board for Plant Genetic Resource as a priority for conservation.


Sipo

(Entandrophragma utile)

Other names: Utile.

Ivory Coast and Ghana. Heartwood colour is reddish brown. veneer, joinery. Listed by the International Board for Plant Genetic Resource as a priority for conservation.


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AUSTRALIAN RAINFOREST TIMBERS TO AVOID

NAME
ORIGIN
USES

Bean (Black)

(Castanespermum australe)

Other names: Moreton Bay Chestnut.

Queensland (Atherton-Cairns), Dorrigo NSW. Chocolate brown, wide sapwood, light hard wood, smooth, greasy, takes high polish, termite resistant. joinery, veneers, panelling, furniture.

Bean (Red)

(Dysoxylon muelleri)

Beech (White)

(Gmelina leichhardtii)

Other names: Grey Teak, Colonial Beech.

coastal lowlands NSW and Qld. Pale to grey brown, lightweight, soft and clean cutting, brittle, oily, termite resist.
flooring, lining, templates, indoor joinery, boat hulls.
Beech (Red) See Maple (Queensland)
Brush Box (Tristania conferta) N. NSW S Coastal Queensland. Grey to red brown, interlocked grain, wavy surface, durable, resistant to termites. general building, flooring, bridge and wharf decks, mallets.
Brush Mahogany See Carabeen (Red)
Bunya Pine (Araucaria bidudili) SE Qld., Bunya Mountains to Gympie. Light brown, pink tones similar to Hoop Pine (beware: often marketed as Hoop Pine). Easily worked and finished. joinery, framing, panelling, furniture; tree has edible nuts.

Carabeen (Red)

(Ceissos benthamiana)

Other names: Brush Mahogany.

N. NSW S. Qld. pinkish brown, dries paler, no pronounced figure, may have small pockets of hard flinty substance, prone to warping when drying. joinery.
Canary Ash (Beilschmiedia bancroftii)


Cedar (Red)

(Toona australis)

once found from Sydney to N. Qld., now rare. Reddish brown. lightweight, slightly aromatic odour, distinct growth rings, easy to work, very soft. was popular furniture wood, joinery, turning.


Cedar (White)

(Melia azedarach)

Other names: Tulip Cedar.

coastal NSW to Qld. Light brown to pink, silky lustre, lightweight, figured backsawn face, not durable in ground.
panelling, decorative cabinet work.

Celery Top Pine

(Phyllocladus aspleniifolius )

Cudgerie

(Flindersia schottiana)

Other names: Bumpy Ash

East coast north of Port Macquarie. White with a silver lustre, flexible and durable. interior joinery, sporting equipment, oars.

Crows Ash

(Flindersia australis)

Other names: NSW Teak, Colonial Teak.

Coastal Qld, NSW to Richmond River. Yellow brown, oily, heavy, medium texture, figured when back sawn. general building, flooring, shipbuilding.

Huon Pine

(Dacrydium franklinii)

Tasmania. Pale, dull yellow on exposure, lightweight, smooth and oily to touch, characteristic odour, works easily, durable.

Johnson River Hardwood

(Backhousia bancroftii)

Kamala (Red)

(Mallotus phillippensis)

Eastern Australian rainforests. Dense and durable. flooring, tool handles, flooring, medicine (seed capsules).

Kauri (Queensland)

(Agathis palmerstonii)

coastal mountains N. Qld. Very large tree, pale softwood, lightweight, some variation, cuts crisply, easily worked, softer than imported Kauri. joinery, flooring, panelling, plywood.

Kauri (South Queensland)

(Agathis robusta)

Other names: Kauri Pine

S. Qld. Closely allied to Qld. Kauri and often sold as such, now almost completely cut out.


King William Pine

(Athrotaxis selaginoides)

Tasmania. Pinkish, red brown, similar to imported Redwood, very lightweight, straight to wavy grain, distinct growth rings. general purpose softwood. Now extremely scarce.

Maple (Queensland)

(Flindersia brayleyana)

Other names: Silkwood, Red Beech.

coastal rainforest North of Queensland. Light pinkish brown, lightweight, hard, wavy grain, silken lustre, durable in weather not in ground. was important for internal/ external joinery, furniture and veneers

Maple (Rose)

(Cryptocarya crythoxylon)

Other names: Pigeonberry Ash, Rose Walnut.

NSW, Qld border ranges. Pale brown, pink or orange tints, moderate weight, straight grain, not fissile, easy to work, fragrant odour. panelling, veneers, cabinet work, joinery.


Malletwood

Rhodamnia arqentea)

Qld. rainforests. Very tough. mallets, golf clubs, gun stocks, fittings.
Moreton Bay Chestnut See Bean (Black)

Myrtle Beech

(Nothofagus cunninghamfl)

Other names: Tasmanian Myrtle.

rainforests of Tasmania and Victoria. Red brown, straight to wavy grain, hard and tough, difficult to season, works well, dimensionally unstable. furniture, panelling, parquetry, turnery. Still found on offer as a by-product of careless logging operations and road building (i.e.'salvaged"). Supposed to be a protected species - DO NOT USE.


Oak (White)

(Stenocarpus sinuatus)

Other names: Firewheel Tree.

East coast rainforests. Durable. Turning. Was considered rare even when first exploited for timber.
Pigeonberry Ash - See Maple (Rose)

Quandong

(Elaeocarpus grandis)

Rosewood

(Dysoxylon fraseranum)

Other names: Rose Mahogany.

coastal Wyong NSW to Lamington district Qld. Reddish brown, some dark oily patches, aromatic, moderately lightweight, interlocked grain, dresses easily. furniture, panelling, veneers, flooring, turnery, joinery.

Sassafras

(Dyophora sassafras)

Other names: Yellow Sassafras, Golden Deal.

coastal - Hunter River NSW to Bundaberg Qld. Greyish yellow, darkens to brown, aromatic, lightweight, brittle, works easily, not durable in weather. Turning, small tool handles, internal linings and mouldings.

Sassafras (Southern)

(Atherospenna moschatum)

Other names: Tasmanian Sassafras.

Tasmania and small areas of Victoria & NSW Pale brown, black or grey streaks, easy to season, soft density, bends and polishes well. turning, toys, carving, panelling, rarely for building.
Satinay (Syncarpia hillii)

Silky Oak (Northern)

(Cardwellia sublimis)

Other names: Bull Silky Oak.

Central and N. Qld. Pale pinkish to brown, oak grain, silvery ray lustre, works/glues well, durable in weather, not in ground. joinery, panelling, cabinet work, house cladding. Once felled extensively by Qld. Forest Service, now (supposedly) protected.
Silkwood - See Maple (Queensland)

Tulip Oak (Red)

(Argyrodendron peralatum)

N. Qld from Tully to Cooktown. Pink to reddish brown, figured, moderately strong, peels and dresses well, tends to warp and check on drying. structural, floors, veneers, brentwood, switchboards (high electricity resistance).


Walnut (Queensland)

(Endiandra palmerstonII)

Other names: Oriental Wood, Australian Walnut.

N. Qld. between Cardwell and Cairns, hilly coastal. Black or chocolate brown, wavy grain, at times unpleasant odour, hard when seasoned, dulls saws, takes high polish. panelling, furniture, veneers. Used to be one of Australia's best known timbers.


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