Timber Species: Victorian Ash (a.k.a Vic Ash, Alpine Ash)
Physical Properties of Vic Ash
Dry Density: 680 kg/m³
Janka Hardness: 4.5 kN
These properties are only a guide, as timber is a natural product there will be variations within any species. The Janka Dry Hardness rating measures the hardness of the wood. The higher the number the harder the wood.
Species Description: Victorian Ash
One of the three sub-alpine timbers used in creating the blend known as Tasmanian oak, Victorian ash is also often known as “Vic Ash” (if you’re standing at the trade desk), alpine ash – or sometimes alpine ash mixed with mountain ash, one of the other timbers used in creating Tasmanian oak.
Straight-trunked with grey bark, alpine ash can reach towering heights of up to 90 meters high in ideal conditions. Victorian ash features a lower trunk that’s rough, thick, and almost wooly before giving way to smooth bark; this distinguishes it from alpine ash varietals grown in Tasmania, which features thicker bark over the entirety of the tree.
While it’s called Victorian ash, and it does grow in Victoria, the alpine ash grows in the aforementioned Tasmania and also in nearby New South Wales. It grows best in cool and rugged soils that feature excellent drainage – a necessity since the Victorian ash can require some of the highest levels of rainfall in Australia in order to thrive to such lofty heights. A bit of an isolationist, Victorian ash tends to grow best in pure stands devoid of other tree species.
While it might grow in elite outcrops, Victorian ash isn’t necessarily the most durable of timbers. With an average Janka score of around 4.5, it’s much too soft for uses like outdoor decking, but its warm, honey-coloured timber is ideal for timber flooring and parquetry, especially when mixed with the other Tasmanian oak varietals or even simply paired with mountain ash. Additionally, Victorian ash is quite light at just 680kg/m³, making it easily workable for ornamental purposes.