Silvertop Ash

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Silver Top Ash iconSilvertop ash is indigenous to the southern and central coast of NSW, eastern Victoria and north eastern Tasmania.

Where does it grow best?

Silvertop ash is highly suited to low fertility soils and exposed ridges where it grows in dense, pure stands. Best performance is achieved on sites with rainfall of at least 700 mm year-1. Silvertop enjoys rocky, clay-based soils but is intolerant of water logging. Silvertop ash is tolerant of mild frost and moderate to high levels of exposure to wind.

What does it look like?

Silvertop ash is a very straight tree with light branching. As a mature tree it has distinctive dark, hard and deeply furrowed fibrous bark at the base and shiny white bark on the upper stem and branches. The small branches and new foliage often have a silver sheen, which is where its common name comes from.

What sort of wood does it produce?

The wood produced by silvertop ash is light in colour with many distinctive features in the grain and texture, making it ideal for appearance products. It is not difficult to work and is suitable for steam bending. Silvertop ash is not susceptible to Lyctid borers. Traditionally it has been used for general construction, flooring, furniture, joinery and tool handles. Silvertop Ash is also a very good pulpwood.

What are its most valuable features?

One of silvertop ash’s most valuable features is its fire resistance, being one of just seven timber species identified by the Building Commission in Victoria as suitable for building in bushfire prone areas. In addition, silvertop ash is one of the only eucalypts in the ash group that have outdoor suitability given its durability rating of class 2 (15-40 years).

Silvertop Ash
Silvertop Ash-2

Statistics

Wood density (green) 1200 kg/m3</td
Wood density (at 12% moisture content) 850 kg/m3
Strength (green & dry) S3 & SD3 (reasonably high)
Durability class (above ground) 2 (15 – 40 years)
Durability (below ground) 3 (5 – 15 years)
Hardness (unseasoned & seasoned) 7.2 & 9.5 Kn (Janka)
Termite resistance of heartwood (inside above ground) Not resistant
Lyctid Borer susceptibility of sapwood Not susceptible