Swamp Mahogany

    (Lophostemon suaveolens)


Also known as: Swamp Box

Swamp Mahogany isn't exactly common around the highlands as most of it was growing on potentially good farmland and was subsequently cleared long ago. It likes a bit of moisture in the soil so is usually found along creek banks or near springs. It is reported to grow up to 25 metres high but the biggest I've seen in our area is about 12 metres high with a 400mm diameter trunk.
Swamp Mahogany flowers in spring through to summer and develops a capsule similar in appearance to a eucalypt - sorry no pics at present. The pictured tree trunk is about 300mm diameter for an idea of scale.
Swamp Mahogany timber is close grained, heavy and is a rich red-brown colour. 
The timber undergoes some serious shrinkage while drying, and if the log is left intact too long, most of it will be lost to internal 'shakes' as pictured. Getting it to the mill quickly will reward you with some beautiful timber that machines quite well considering how hard and dense it is. 
I found the Swamp Mahogany timber machined and sanded really well and tear-out is not an issue. The timber takes a finish really easily and the rich red colour just 'pops' with the first coat!
The base of this 'Vessel' was carved from Veiny Denhamia and the whole thing finished with a hard-wax oil (Kunos) which I use on pretty much everything I make these days.


Back to Top