Emu Apple

    (Owenia acidula)


Also known as: Desert plum, Colane

A very distinctive tree common around the highlands on most soil types. Emu Apple takes it's name from the golf-ball sized fruits it bears which apparently are edible, but are best if left buried for a few days first (or left alone altogether unless you're literally starving!) The tree is most commonly seen as single specimens but also occurs in groves of smaller shrub sized trees. Large spreading specimens to about 8 metres high with trunks up to 700 or 800mm diameter can be found, often serving as shade trees for stock.
The timber is red with a pale sapwood and tends to darken in colour considerably and move and crack quite a bit during drying, particularly if left in the sun.
Emu Apple is a great wood to turn, returning a glossy finish when you use good chisel techniques. It can be a little hard on tools, especially if taken from sandy country. The timber sands and finishes beautifully. 
One of the unusual aspects of Emu Apple is the way that it 'burls' up when Mistletoe attaches to it. This particularly large specimen was found near Alpha and you can see where the 2 timbers combine in the picture at right. If my mate that roughed it out green ever gets back to finishing it, I'll post a pic here.


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