This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The Rural Press, of San Francisco, thus speaks of Eucalyptus wood:
"It will be of much interest to our gum tree growers to know some of the uses and qualities of the wood in the region where it has reached its best estate. In Australia ship builders get keels of blue gum timber 120 feet long; they also use it extensively for planking and other parts of the ship. It is considered superior to American rock elm. A test of strength made between some blue gum, English oak and Indian teak, showed that the blue gum carried fourteen pounds weight more than the oak and seventeen pounds four ounces more than teak upon the square inch. It is extensively used by carpenters for all kinds of out-door work, for fence rails, shafts and spokes of drays, and a variety of other purposes. For railroad sleepers it lasts about nine years. The wood is of a yellowish grey tint, with a close, straight grain.
" Nor is the red gum tree wood of less value and utility. The specimens shown by Mr. Mackey show its qualities clearly. Baron Von Mueller gives the following careful description of the wood: It is a hard, dense wood with a handsome curly but rather short grain. It is almost entirely free from the tendency to longitudinal shrinkage which is the invariable characteristic of all the other eucalyptii. It is of extraordinary endurance under ground, and is, therefore, highly valued for fence posts, piles and railway sleepers. It is extensively used by shipbuilders for main sterns, stern posts, inner posts, dead wood, floor timbers, futtocks, transoms, knight heads, hawse pieces, cant, stern, quarter, and fashion timber, windlass, bow rails, etc. It should be steamed before it is worked for planking. Next to the jarrah, from Western Australia, it is the best wood for resisting the attacks of the sea worms and white ants. Its possible uses are almost too various for enumeration; as an instance of which it may be mentioned that it is used with great advantage and economy for the bearings of machinery, the cost being almost nominal as compared with brass, whilst the material is equally serviceable and almost indestructible.