Boxed-heart posts from hardwood eucalyptus

Growers of spotted gum and yellow stringybark could potentially increase income from small-diameter plantation thinnings by creating “boxed-heart” posts, according to a trial supported by FWPA.

However, sugar gum and southern mahogany produced a lower proportion of posts of acceptable quality. (“Boxed-heart” posts are timber posts milled to include the pith, the soft core at the centre of the log.)

Jon Lambert and Dean Severino tested approximately 80 logs of each of the four species in plantations their business manages – and also trialled four different drying treatments – and measured the proportion of acceptable-quality posts after a year’s drying.

Posts were deemed to be of unacceptable quality if they had splits of over 5 millimetres on the ends or any surface. Across all four drying methods, the following proportion of posts made the grade:

- Spotted gum – 30 per cent acceptable quality
- Yellow stringybark – 24 per cent
- Sugar gum – 13 per cent
- Southern mahogany – 8 per cent

The pass rate was even higher at 50 per cent for spotted gum that was end waxed and plated before being dried.

The posts produced could be used in a range of feature products such as bridges, boardwalks, playground equipment, parks and gardens and a range of constructions in marine and tourist areas. Squared off and sold green, they could also be sold for use in natural hardwood fences.

The final report will be released in late January 2018. More >>.

Source: FWPA R&D Works

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