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WOODS OF EUCALYPTUS – PART 2 DISTINGUISHING SPECIES FROM THE STRINGYBARK GROUP: (E. baxteri, E. globoidea, E. muelleriana, E. macrorhyncha, E. consideniana and E. sieberi)

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In Australia the stringybark group of eucalypts comprises at least 25 species of Eucalyptus from the botanical series Capitellatae. The species are abundant in south-eastern Australia, and four groups (white, yellow, brown and red) of the commercial timber come mainly from Victoria and New South Wales and these include E. baxteri (Benth.) Maiden, E. globoidea Blakely & Blakely, E. macrorhyncha F. Muell. ex Benth., and E. muelleriana Howitt. As with the ‘ash group’ of eucalypts, the timbers are similar in appearance, and although they are heavier than the ash group, there are some overlapping characteristics. Two additional species, E. consideniana Maiden (yertchuk) and E. sieberi L.A.S. Johnson (silvertop ash), outside the stringybark group, were studied as their woods also closely resemble those from the stringybark group.Differences were found between the species in vessel diameter and density, ray content, amount of axial parenchyma, distinctness of growth rings, basic density and wood colour. Most of the useful differences arise from extremes of these characteristics. Eucalyptus macrorhyncha (red stringybark) can be identified when the pore number is greater than 15/mm2, the average maximum tangential diameter is less than 140 μm, by ray width and content and from the definite pink-reddish colour. Eucalyptus sieberi can be distinguished definitely from E. muelleriana, and fairly certainly from E. globoidea and E. baxteri by uniformly distributed deposits in the rays. Considerable overlap in wood structure exists among E. muelleriana, E. globoidea and E. baxteri making their separation on wood characteristics impractical. Photomicrographs illustrating various points have been included together with a key for separation between the species studied. Similarities to other species including E. acmenoides, E. microcorys, E. obliqua, E. phaeotricha, and E. pilularis are discussed.


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