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Wood Species: Jarrah

Scientific Name: Eucalyptus marginata

Trade Name: Jarrah

Family Name: Myrtaeae

Common Names: Swan River Mahogany

Regions of Distribution: Southwest Botanical Province and Jarrah Forest in Australia

Countries of Distribution: Australia


Color: The wood can range from a pinkish hue to a deep-red, almost mahogany color. It will eventually turn to a deep brownish-red color with black streaks throughout.

GRAIN: The grain is interlocked and can be wavy. The texture is even but slightly coarse.

Variations within species and grades: There is a moderate to high color variation between the species.


Hardness/Janka: This wood is very hard with a Janka rating of 1910

Dimensional stability: Jarrah wood is moderately stable and is highly decay resistant. It is a very good wood to work with if you are wanting to steam bend it into different shapes.

Origin: South Western Australia

Availability: Not as readily available as in the past as it is a very commonly and heavily forested tree. It can also fall victim to root rot.

Average and maximum lifespan: The average life span is about 300 years but there have been trees recorded to be over 500 years old.


Sawing/Machining: Jarrah is a difficult wood to work with as the grain is very irregular. Tools regularly have to be sharpened and not all tools are acceptable to use.

Sanding: This wood sands well, however, it is important to take precautions as the dust can stain clothes or wall coverings.

Nailing: Holes should be pre-drilled at an angle. Once this is done, the Jarrah wood holds the nails very well.

Finishing: This wood finishes beautifully, but extreme caution must be used as the red color can often bleed into some finishes. It also holds glue very well and so is widely used for high end products.

Common Uses: The flowers of the Jarrah tree are used to make honey. The wood is used in the manufacturing of cabinets, flooring, paneling, and outdoor furniture. Commercial uses include bridges, wharves, railway sleepers, and posts.

Detailed Description

Plant habit and life style: Jarrah trees thrive in warm climates in South Western Australia but are very adaptable and hardy.

Stems: The trunks of the Jarrah tree and long, straight, and don’t have any actual branches protruding from them. The bark is a rough grayish-brown color that can be peeled off in long, thin, fibrous strips. The trunks often have long vertical grooves running its length.

Buds: The buds of this tree are quite narrow and cone shaped. They grow in clusters of approximately seven to eleven buds, each about 9 millimeters in size.

Leaves: The leaves range in size from three to five inches long. They are dark green on the top and a lighter green underneath.

Flowers: The flowers of the Jarrah tree only bloom every two years, usually in the spring or early summer. They are usually bright white in color.

Fruits: The fruits are ball or cone shaped and are commonly approximately nine millimeters in size.

Habitat: Jarrah trees are very hardy trees that can grow in rich, well watered soil, or in dry, infertile soil which is heavily salt laden.

Special Diagnostic Characters: Jarrah trees have adapted to the environment by creating lignotubers. These are pockets of carbohydrates that swell underground beneath the Jarrah trees. If ever damaged in a fire, these lignotubers will help the trees to grow back. They also have extremely long root systems which will keep the tree nourished in the case of a drought.