Australia’s Mahogany smells delightful when it flowers
Jarrah is the Aboriginal name for the Eucalyptus tree, Eucalyptus Marginata. As it resembles Mahogany when it is processed, it is sometimes known as Swan River Mahogany after the river that flows through the Western Australian city of Perth, where the best Jarrah grows.
Jarrah can grow from 130 to 165 feet (40-50 m) tall and have a circumference of 30 feet (9 m). Eucalyptus trees can live to be 500 years old. Its bark is rough and its leaves are dark green with a pale vein on the edges, known as the marginata. Jarrah flowers appear between June and January and sit in clusters of 7-11 flowers with an exquisite scent. The trees flower every two years and are pollinated by bees, this is why we get honey from Jarrah.
Sets and turns rock-hard
Directly after being felled, Jarrah is easy to work with. However, as soon as it has dried it turns so hard that working it with conventional tools turns into something of a challenge. Jarrah is extremely durable and weather-resistant, even in very damp and watery environments. Jarrah over the years has been used for bridges, fencing, boat-building, railway sleepers and telegraph poles. A lot of Jarrah has also been exported to the United Kingdom where it has been split and covered with asphalt to form roads.