Bootlace Oak

    (Hakea chordophylla)

 

Also known as: Northern corkwood, Bull oak

    Bootlace Oak isn't exactly common but you see enough around that it's not on the endangered list. The specimen pictured below is about as big as they get around here and I don't think he's going to last much longer because of the trunk damage (and I continue to check on it after every storm!).
About 6 metres high and 200mm diameter at the deck, there wouldn't be much useable timber in one but it does have a nice oak 'fleck' to the quarter sawn face.  

 
I have acquired a tree that had died from the drought but I don't know that I'll ever try and use the timber. Just 2 cuts through the 200mm trunk rendered the chainsaw blade useless due to the timbers abrasiveness/hardness. This problem lends weight to my theory regarding drought-killed trees taking up more silica than normal as I have seen this with several other species. It also seems to affect the colour of the timber, changing it to a bland grey - all in all, not a very appealing turning proposition!

 
Regardless of it's value as a timber, I think they're an awesome looking tree, particularly when in flower (August-ish).

 

The seed pods are typical of Hakea's.

 
 
The timber tends to crack a bit while drying and is slightly heavier and denser than Southern Silky Oak (Grevillea robusta), but much the same in appearance and colour.
The timber machines reasonably well though it is a little 'crumbly'. It sands really well and readily soaks up the finish.

Finally got around to making something from a piece of Bootlace Oak I collected a while back.  Taking all things into account, I would suggest sticking to the Silky Oak as it's much easier to get hold of in much larger sizes. The stand and lids of this 'Tea-light stand' are from Sally Wattle and the 'knobs' and stand-offs are from Australian Ebony.

 

Back to Top