Jarrah (Eucalyptus Marginata) Australia's Favourite Hardwood
The magnificent Jarrah forests of southwest Western Australia are the home of this Australian hardwood and the only place where this famous Eucalypt grows.
Well known for its versatility, it is seen in bridge and wharf construction, flooring and general building through to fine woodworking where its even texture and decorative qualities make it a favourite for craftsmen, furniture and cabinet makers.
Jarrah presents itself in an inspiring range of colours from the palest yellow, orange, pink, through every shade of red to almost black. The grain is generally straight though sometimes it can be wavy giving a ‘fiddleback’ appearance much prized for decorative woodworking as is the occasionally seen, dark-spotted timber.
We have a comprehensive range of products in Jarrah including some of our top 10 best sellers, so popular is this iconic Australian timber. The story of the Jarrah forests and the timber itself is a fascinating one – scroll down to read more!
Jarrah is regarded as one of the best all round hardwoods in the world. Growing straight and tall – old trees have been measured at 40 metres high with trunks 3 metres in diameter – it has an even grain, is termite and water resistant and famously durable. It is so hard that conventional woodworking tools are useless unless it is worked fresh.
Jarrah is adapted to the scourge of the Australian bushfire by reproducing not from seed but from lignotubers; underground swellings that allow it to regenerate after fire. The dense timber turns to charcoal when burnt rather than ash.
The Jarrah forests are a mixture — Jarrah and Marri providing the upper storey and Heath, Banksia, Sheoak and the fabulously named Snottygobble (it got its name from the mucous-like green interior of the fruit; no one seems to know where the ‘gobble’ bit came from, let your imagination go wild here) making up the understory.
The Jarrah forests are home to an extraordinary number of birds, mammals and reptiles – 29 mammals, 150 birds, 45 reptiles and who knows how many insects. Old growth forests provide roomy hollows in the mature trees and together with fallen logs provide vital habitats for wildlife. This brings us to the very important question of sustainability. Much of the old growth forest has disappeared due to intensive logging last century – as well as its widespread use in Australia, tons of Jarrah was sent to Europe to be used as wooden pavers in streets – which means the remaining old growth forest is protected and several areas are undergoing rehabilitation. The news on these is promising with several endangered species bouncing back in numbers.