There is a feeling of melancholy in the air today as we come to the conclusion of our Vibrant Veneers blog post series here at Plyco. It has been a joy to dive deep into the timber veneers we offer and check out a lot of the behind the scenes info on how these incredible products are made – we even managed to learn a few new facts! To conclude the series, we’re going to be putting Plyco’s Blackbutt veneer under the microscope.
The Blackbutt veneer is only a part of our Strataply range as a stock veneer and not our Laminato range, unfortunately, but as with all our other veneers in this series it can be purchased regularly on Birch Plywood, as well as being part of our Veneered MDF and Veneered Particle Board line-ups. Blackbutt is a light-coloured veneer that is quite brown (although not as brown as our American Walnut), giving it a very earthy feel. It’s very similar to the heartwood from Blackbutt trees, giving the veneer an intrinsic connection to the tree – however, you’ll notice that visually it is quite a bit different to the outer bark.
Our gorgeous Blackbutt veneer
Blackbutt’s ecological name is Eucalyptus pilularis, part of the Eucalyptus family as much of Plyco’s veneers are. It is most commonly native to south-eastern Australia, particularly along the coast from New South Wales to Queensland and is the dominant species along the Pacific Highway. You’ll often see Blackbutt trees being confused with the Sydney Peppermint and Sydney Blue Gum trees. The easiest way to tell Blackbutt apart from those two Sydney locals is that Blackbutt is a common resting place for koalas thanks to V-shaped branches. If you’re in this part of Australia and see a koala napping, there is a very good chance you’re looking at a Blackbutt!
Map of the most common Blackbutt locations
Other visual characteristics that are signs you’re in the presence of a Blackbutt is its rough bark that travels about halfway up the tree, which then transitions and evolves into a white smooth bark. The rough bark found towards the base is usually a result of damage from past bushfires, however, due to its height the bark further up the tree remains mostly undamaged and retains its lighter colouring.
In the wetter months from March to September, you’ll get to see white flowers blooming.
The Blackbutt tree's white flowers in bloom
It’s a relatively tall tree, it can grow up to 50 metres in height, but in comparison to many of the other species of veneer featured in this series, it’s actually quite small. It’s believed that in the past Blackbutt trees may have greatly exceeded 50 metres in height, but concrete evidence is hard to come by and determine. There are currently two examples of trees exceeding this height in Australia, both of which can be found in Middle Brother National Park. “Benaroon” stands at 64-metres tall, while “Bird Tree” reaches 69-metres tall, although it is skinnier when it comes to diameter.
Here you can see the contrast in bark colours
If you’re on the hunt for one in the wild you can generally find them in wet and coastal forest areas around low to mid altitudes in areas with a humid and warm-ish climate.
One of the most interesting facts about the Blackbutt species is just how economically important they are to Australia. It is one of the highest value timbers with many plantations found across Australia and even some overseas. It is highly regarded for its high-quality timber and quick growth, as well as being strong, easy to work with and having high durability levels. It’s an overall fantastic timber to work with, which is why it’s no surprise that so much of it is grown for commercial use.
FUN FACT: Blackbutt timber is used for the flooring in Parliament House!
If you like the sound of our Blackbutt veneer why not head on over to Plyco’s online store? There you can pick up Blackbutt in our Strataply, Birch Plywood, MDF or Particle Board ranges or check out our entire range of timber veneers. We also have an enormous range of other plywood products for you to browse too! Alternatively, you can pay us a visit at our Fairfield showroom to see all our products in person, or get in touch with us to order a FREE sample pack of all our Laserply, Strataply and Laminato items.