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Species – Jarrah

Species Information - Jarrah

Species Information

Jarrah is the Aboriginal name for Eucalyptus marginata, which is one of the most common species of Eucalyptus tree in southwest and Western Australia. While the tree grows to be no more than 130 feet tall, its trunk can be remarkably wide, measuring in at times at nearly 10 feet wide. The bark of the Jarrah sheds in long, flat strips, and is greyish-brown and vertically grooved.

Unique to the Jarrah tree is its lignotuber, which is an underground swelling that stores carbohydrates, allowing young trees to regenerate following a fire. The tree’s deep roots allow it to endure, even in times of long dry periods.

Jarrah produces a dark, thick honey, which is often used as a food substance, but its wood is the most popular source of use. The tree’s straight trunks and termite-resistant timber make it ideal for cabinet making, flooring, outdoor furniture and more. Because of its remarkable resistance to rot, Jarrah is used to make hot tubs. It’s also used in shipbuilding and bridges, due to its water resistance.

Jarrah is often confused with Karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor), because of its similar appearance. However, one can tell the difference by cutting an unweathered splinter and burning it. Karri burns into white ash, while Jarrah forms a charcoal.

Scientific Names

The scientific name for Jarrah is Eucalyptus marginata. The term “marginata” refers to the light-colored vein bordering of the tree’s leaves.

Origin

Jarrah hails from Australia, and primarily Southwest and Western Australia.

Crossover Names

Jarrah was once called Swan River mahogany, because of its similar appearance to Honduras Mahogany. The Swan River is the river system that runs through Perth.

Janka Rating

Jarrah has a Janka rating of 1,860. This makes it 140% harder than red oak, and equal to that of amendoim.

Jarrah Janka Scale Rating 1,860

*The Janka rating measures the resistance of a sample of wood to denting and wear. Click Here for more info.

Appearance

The heartwood of Jarrah ranges in color from light red or brown to a dark, brick red. The wood tends to darken with prolonged exposure to light. The sapwood of Jarrah is pale yellow or, at times, pink.

The grain of Jarrah if often times interlocked or wavy, featuring a medium to coarse texture. There are times where Jarrah can exhibit a curly figure. These curly pieces (or burl blocks) are typically the more expensive forms of Jarrah sold on the market.

Jarrah contains no characteristic odor.

Workability

Jarrah tends to be difficult on machines because of its high density and interlocked grain. It has a moderate blunting effect on cutting edges. However, Jarrah does turn, glue and finish well. Severe allergic reactions while cutting are uncommon, but Jarrah has been known to cause mild eye or respiratory irritation.

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