The common name Blackbutt came about due to the tree’s appearance after bushfire, whereby the buttress – or butt – was significantly darkened. It is also known as coastal blackbutt to distinguish it from the tableland species, New England blackbutt.
Due to its quick growth and versatility, Blackbutt makes a good plantation timber. It is a commonly available commercial hardwood species in New South Wales and southern Queensland, often used for building framework.
The heartwood ranges from golden yellow to pale brown, although occasionally a slight pinkish colour may be present. The sapwood, which is not always easy to distinguish, is much paler in appearance and is resistant to attack by lyctid borer. Blackbutt has an even texture and generally straight grain making it appealing for interior use applications.
Blackbutt can be stained, painted or polished but there can be issues with painting because of its tendency to surface check. The high extractives of mature wood can cause problems with some adhesives, but this is much less of an issue with young regrowth wood. These extractives can also cause staining on painted surfaces exposed to the weather. Blackbutt machines well but is only fair for steam bending.
Blackbutt provides good fire resistance and is one of seven hardwood timber species that was found to be suitable by the Building Commission in Victoria for home construction in bushfire areas (provided it has a thickness greater than 18mm).
A strong, durable hardwood, blackbutt can be used for a range of structural, exterior and interior applications including framework, decking, flooring and poles.