Sassafras - Atherosperma moschatum
Sassafras grows as an understorey tree in Tasmania's wet mixed forests and rainforests but also grows in Victoria and New South Wales. Timber from the plain sassafras logs was once used for clothes pegs because they do not contain any tannin. Today sassafras is famous for its spectacular black-heart stain caused by naturally occuring wood fungi which produces a range of contrasting brown to black colours in the heartwood.
Black-heart sassafras timber is used in wood turning, furniture, joinery, for veneers and in many souvenir items. Creative veneer lay-ups can produce stunning effects with even slight amounts of heart stain. Spalted sassafras timber, fine dark lines caused by stain fungi in the log after harvesting, is also attractive and popular in craft and furniture items.
Air Dry Density about 630 kg/m3 (Bootle 1985)
Availability: Blackheart sassafras is available from IST Geeveston and IST Smithton as tender logs while IST Geeveston process and sell kiln dried timber, squares, turning blanks and slabs.