Spalted Sassafras (Atherosperma moschatum)
Of all Tasmanian timbers, Sassafras has the most variable and dynamic colouring. It is a beautiful and pale creamy grey to white normally but can be streaked with rich browns and black heart. It is available in two major groupings: Golden Sassafras and Blackheart Sassafras.
Finishing to a grey and golden tone, Golden Sassafras is particularly attractive as a veneer or as a solid timber with knots providing figure. If the tree is infected with a staining fungus it produces Blackheart Sassafras. Blackheart is a timber with distinctive dark brown, black, and even green streaks running through the wood. Blackheart is highly prized for decorative work and bowl turning as no two pieces are ever the same.
Sassafras is versatile. While the wood is light and strong, it is rather soft and easily worked. Renowned in furniture use as a solid, a veneer or a laminated board, Sassafras is used for panelling, mouldings, joinery, veneers, cabinet-making and turnery.
Sassafras grows as an understorey species in lower altitude wet forests throughout Tasmania. It is not related to the timbers known as Sassafras that grow on mainland Australia. It is an aromatic evergreen tree with some quite distinctive qualities; the bark, sap, and associated oils are highly aromatic and smell like cinnamon, while its leaves have a strong sarsaparilla scent. The leaves are dark green, turning yellow as the tree ages. The best trees are found in gullies where Sassafras may reach 45m in height and almost 1 metre in diameter.
Sassafras is a component of wet eucalypt forest and young rain forest where it may live for up to 150–200 years. It is a heavy seed producer although germination can be erratic. Seedlings are subject to heavy browsing by native animals and many young trees become established where they are inaccessible, on mounds or on man fern trunks.
Much Sassafras establishes as coppice or multi-stemmed trunks.
Sassafras timber will always be accessible to the furniture industry in company with other forest produce. While wet mixed and eucalypt forests are sustainably harvested for eucalypt veneer and sawlogs, Sassafras will be available as a by-product.
Source : www.tastimber.tas.gov.au
Size is 18mm x 18mm x 145mm.
The pen blanks are dry, they are not enclosed in wax.
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