Casuarina equisetifolia| Tonewood Profile | “Australian beefwood”
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[Ed.- read more about this and other Australian Tonewoods in Jack Spira’s fantastic article… here!]
Autralian Beefwood is an evergreen Casuarina (sheoak) species which attains heights of 35 metres in it’s large natural range of Australasia, Southeast Asia, India and Philippines.
The specific name equisetifolia comes from the Latin, equinus for horse and folium for leaf, a reference to the fine drooping twigs, which looks like horse tails and is reflected in it’s many common names, coastal she-oak, horsetail beefwood, Australian beefwood to name a few.
Australian Beefwood has a wide range and is planted in several countries to prevent soil erosion. It is also a plantation tree primarily for firewood and is an invasive species in Florida where it is called Australian Pine.
The heartwood of Australian Beefwood is pale red to dark red-brown with a pale yellow-brown sapwood. The grain is straight and like most sheoaks is interlocked with a fine even texture. When sawn on the quarter it displays prominent medullary rays which can be very attractive.
Australian Beefwood has a Janka rating of around 3200 and a Specific Gravity around 1. It is a premium firewood, able to burn even when green and is still used as the first choice firewood for trains.
As a tonewood…
It’s use has been limited to the Australian builders but works as a back and sides wood.
Limited sources in southwest Australia.
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