This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
Cypress pine (Callitris columellaris) is a plentiful tree in Queensland, attaining a diameter of 40 in. It is in great demand for piles and boat-sheathing, as it resists the attacks of cobra and white ants. The wood is worth 120s. per 1000 ft. super. The roots give good veneers.
Dark yellow wood (Rhus rhodanthema) grows in Queensland to a moderate size, affording planks up to 24 in. wide; the wood is soft, fine-grained, and beautifully marked, and is highly esteemed for cabinet work, being worth 100 to 120s. per 1000 ft. super.
This tree is found in the Himalayas at 5000-12,000 ft., and on the higher mountains from Nepal to Kashmir, measuring 150-200 ft. high, and over 30 ft. circ. Its wood is extremely valuable for all carpentry, and most generally used in the Punjab for building. Its weight is 37 lb. a cub. ft.; breaking-weight, 520 lb.
The American dogwood (Cornus florida) is a tree 30 ft. high, common in the woods of many parts of N. America. Its wood is hard, heavy, and close-grained, and largely used locally for tool-handles; it has been imported into England with some success as a substitute for box in making shuttles for textile machinery. The black dogwood or alder buckthorn (Rhamnus Frangula) is abundant in Asia Minor, and affords one of the best wood charcoals for gunpowder-making. The principal uses made of Bahama dogwood (Piscidia Erythrina) are for fellies for wheels and for ship timber. From its toughness and other properties, it is better adapted to the former purpose than any other of the Bahamian woods. The tree does not attain any considerable size, and is generally crooked; a rather soft, open-grained, but very tough wood.
This tree is a native of S. Africa, and affords small timber used for fencing, spars, fuel, and charcoal.
The best and most costly kind of ebony, having the blackest and finest grain, is the wood of D. reticulata, of Mauritius. The E. Indian species, D. Melanoxylon and D. Ebenaster, also contribute commercial supplies, and another kind is obtained from D. Ebenum, of Ceylon. The heartwood of the trunk of these trees is very hard and dense, and is largely used for fancy cabinet-making, mosaic work, turnery, and small articles. The approximate London market values are 5-20l. a ton for Ceylon, and 3-12Z. for Zanzibar, etc.
Besides the chief species Which are described separately under their common names, almost all have considerable value as timber trees for building, fencing, and general purposes throughout Australia.
This large tree (100 ft. high, and 3-5 ft. diam.) is indigenous to Europe, Asia, and N. America, growing in British plantations. It is said to attain its greatest perfection in this country at 80 years. The 'wood is of good quality, and much used on the Continent for carpentry and ship-building. Floors of it remain permanently level. It is liable to attacks of the worm, and lasts longer in air than in water. It weighs about 25 1/2 lb. a cub. ft.