Tallowwood – Eucalyptus microcorys
Other Names: Australian Tallowwood, Tee.
Distinctive Characteristics: This evergreen tree has soft, spongy, red-brown bark that is rough and fibrous, with surface pores and horizontal cracks. The base can form buttressed roots and burls. The special characteristic and name-giving feature is the greasy feel of the wood.
Distribution: Native to Australia, along the north coast of New South Wales near Newcastle to southeastern Queensland near Fraser Island, westward into higher altitudes of the Great Dividing Range. Elevation: sea level to 2,460 ft. (750 m).
Ecosystem: Tallowwood occurs mainly in tall, open forests in rainforest fringes on slopes, broad ridges, and sheltered valleys, sometimes forming over-stories, with Sydney Blue Gum, Blackbutt, Flooded Gum, White Mahogany, Silver-top Stringybark, Pink Bloodwood, White-Topped Box, Turpentine, and Brush Box. In drier forests, it occurs with Red Bloodwood, White Stringybark, and Grey Box.
Maximum Age: Estimated at over 300 years.
Maximum Height and Girth: 230 ft. (70 m) in height; 32 ft. (10 m) in circumference.
Animal Community: The nectar is consumed by bees, birds such as honeyeaters and lorikeets, and bats such as flying foxes. Koalas eat the leaves.
Fiber: The leaves were used to make dye.
Modern Uses: A favored hardwood timber, the durable, rot-resistant wood has been used in heavy bridge and mining construction, and to make carriages, railroad ties, poles, sills, wheel spokes, tool handles, outdoor furniture, landscaping, fencing, joinery, boats, plywood, flooring, and decking.
Threats and Conservation: Not threatened.