Tasmanian Oak and Victorian Ash come from two near identical eucalypt species, E. Delegantensis and E. While there are some minor differences between the two types of timber that are listed below, there are a remarkable number of similarities, making them often interchangeable. Some of the common characteristics between Tasmanian Oak and Victorian Ash include:. Although they share many similarities, including species make up, there are some minor differences between Victorian Ash and Tasmanian Oak. Tasmanian Oak can be one of E. Regans, E. This mix of hardwood species ranges from straw blonde to pale and dark pink through to chocolate blonde. The younger growth tends to be lighter in colour while the older trees can be darker across the spectrum. These are generally suitable for small mouldings, flooring, lining and furniture.
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A dominant tree common throughout cool, mostly mountainous areas in Victoria, including stands of tall trees are found in the Otway, Dandenong, Yarra and Strzelecki ranges as well as Mount Disappointment and East Gippsland, and Tasmania, in the Huon and Derwent River valleys in the southeast of the state. The sapwood is a light pale straw in appearance, with gum veins often visible. The heartwood ranges from golden yellow to pale brown, occasionally a slight pinkish colour can be sourced.
Distribution and Availability
Victorian ash is the trade name of two large Victorian hardwood species, alpine ash and mountain ash, that can be used for timber framing, internal applications and furniture. Victorian ash should not be confused with Tasmanian oak which comprises three hardwood species: alpine ash, mountain ash and messmate and has quite a wide variation in colour mix. Importantly it should also be noted that Victorian ash is not susceptible to lyctid borer whilst Tasmanian oak is. Victorian ash is mainly available in Victoria, Tasmania and NSW, with limited availability to other parts of Australia. It has a course texture. The heartwood ranges from pale pink to yellowish brown and a walnut colour can be achieved by steaming with ammonia. The heartwood is often indistinguishable in colour from the softwood. There is minimal shrinkage after drying. To ensure good quality boards, logs are quarter-cut, which provides excellent dimensional stability. Reconditioning is standard practice.
A simple question which has confused many over an extended period. A question with somewhat simple answers, but like many things, the deeper you dig the more complicated things can become. In the world of veneer, Ash and Oak are more different than it would appear from the above explanations. Veneer manufacturers and distributors are less concerned with which state the timber was sourced from or, for that matter, the actual species used to produced the veneer as evidenced by the fact that Eucalyptus nitens and Eucalyptus viminalis and others are commonly used to produce what is referred to as Ash and Oak. They are focused on the appearance of the veneer — specifically the colour. In general terms, Victorian Ash and Tasmanian Oak are light-coloured, ranging from straw to a light pinkish brown. However, when we talk veneer, Ash will always refer to the lightest coloured veneers and Oak will refer to the darker veneers. Most of the veneer sourced from these species tends to be slightly darker in appearance and therefore categorised as Tasmanian Oak. The economics of this fact creates two significantly different markets.