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Victorian Ash Timber: Learn about it!
May 30, 2016
Victorian ash is the trade name for two of the tallest hardwood species in the world. This Australian hardwood takes its name from the fact that it grows in the alpine areas of Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales. It can refer to either mountain ash or alpine ash and is marketed under the trade names Tasmanian oak or Victorian ash, although it is important to note that the proportions of each species can vary considerably.
Victorian Ash is mainly available in Victoria, Tasmania and NSW, with limited availability to other parts of Australia.
Victorian ash timber usually has a straight grain but may also produce fiddleback markings and have visible gum veins. It has a course texture. The heartwood ranges from pale pink to yellowish brown and a walnut colour can be achieved by steaming with ammonia. The heartwood is often indistinguishable in colour from the softwood. Care needs to be taken when drying Victorian ash because of its proneness to collapse and internal checking, as well as surface checking on the tangential surface. There is minimal shrinkage after drying. To ensure good quality boards, logs are quarter-cut, which provides excellent dimensional stability. Reconditioning is standard practice.
While Victorian ash can be used for general construction, such as framing, its low to moderate durability means it is best suited for interior applications such as flooring, paneling, high value joinery and furniture. Victorian ash is also used to manufacture plywood and may also be used for boxes, crates and paper pulp. Victorian ash is grown as a plantation timber due to its quick growth and resistance to insect attack.