Sassafras, Atherosperma moschatum, grows as an understorey tree in Tasmania’s wet mixed forests and rainforests.

Sassafras wood is normally pale in colour but the famous ‘black-heart sassafras’ has contrasting wavy rings of brown to black colour in the heartwood caused by naturally occurring wood stain fungi.

Spalted sassafras timber with fine dark lines caused by stain fungi colonizing the log after harvesting creates its own unique pattern.

Air dry density about 630 kg / m3 (Bootle 1985).


Limited quantities of white, black heart and spalted sassafrass are intermittently available from IST Geeveston and IST Smithton as tender logs while IST Geeveston processes and sells air and kiln-dried sawn timber including slabs, and waxed turning blanks.