Australia, in particular, the coastal and tableland forests of NSW and QLD – produce some of the most robust, durable and beautiful timbers in the world, making them ideal for architecture and design. 

Have you ever wondered what happens to your timber? Timber has so many uses, but is predominantly used in home construction. The Top 10 list below showcases how your wood is likely to be used. 

Timber Production & Value Adding

From the forest to the retailer, timber goes through a chain of value-adding processes before arriving at the retailer.

Primary Processing at the Sawmill

Timber harvesting is the first link in the production chain, where your timber will then be transported to a specialised sawmill to be processed. The raw log can be processed in one of six ways depending on its planned purpose. It can be retained in round form, sawn, sliced, split, chipped or crushed.

Secondary Processing

Secondary processing adds additional value to timber through a broad range of manufacturing processes. Most secondary processing uses lower value chipped fibre to produce commodity products like pulp and paper, cardboard and reconstituted products like fibreboard.

Hardwood Timber

The majority of timber harvested in the private native coastal and tablelands forests of NSW and SE QLD is hardwood. Hardwood forests provide timber that is visually attractive, strong and durable. There are over 20 main species. However, there are seven that are most popular. These are Coastal Blackbutt, Spotted Gum, Tallowwood, Ironbark, White Mahogany, Grey Box and Grey Gum.

Top 10 Australian Hardwood Timber Uses

1. Residential Construction 

75% of all NSW sawn timber is used in the construction of new residential homes. As the demand for new homes increases, so does the requirement for timber. By 2031, in Sydney alone, 660,000 new homes are planned to be built (Timber NSW).

2. High Rise Innovation

Innovative high rise buildings made of timber are now being built in Australia. International House in Sydney’s Barangaroo is one example from across the world, heralding a sustainable design and construction revolution. 

3. Boat & Ship Construction

Blackbutt, Spotted Gum and Tallowood are all highly durable timber species used in marine craft construction.

4. Flooring & Decking 

Dry appearance timber is used for flooring, decking and pergolas.

5. Power Poles & Bridges

Green structural timber is often used for building purposes such as power poles, wharves and bridges.

6. Landscaping & Fencing

Other green timber is used for lower value applications such as landscaping sleepers, fencing and pallets.

7. Furniture

20% of timber consumed in Australia is used by the furniture industry. (Timber NSW). 

8. Bespoke Handmade Items

Decorative hardwood items account for small volumes but service high-value niche markets. This includes musical instruments, hand-carved decorative items and wooden toys.

9. Paper

Australia produces on average 3.2 million tonnes of paper and paperboard products a year. This includes paper packaging, printing and writing paper, newsprint, household and sanitary paper.

10. Fuel Generation

Timber unsuitable for use in solid wood products is typically sold either as pulpwood for woodchip or as firewood for domestic heating.

What to look for when purchasing timber products

When purchasing wood products, look for certified sustainable timber, so that you know the forest it has been sourced from is managed responsibly in line with strict environmental standards.

Have a question about harvesting your timber? Give Siman a call today on 1300 FOREST. Alternatively, use our Contact Us form, we’d love to hear from you. Find out more about Reforestation after your timber has been harvested.