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Red grandis (Eucalyptus grandis) is a high-grade hardwood prized for its consistent color, workability, ease of finishing and durability. Its heartwood can vary from pale pink to medium pink and its sapwood is typically paler. Its attractive grain pattern, uniform but moderately coarse-textured, is usually straight or slightly interlocked. Red grandis makes a lower-cost substitute for cherry, mahogany and sapele.
According to Gordon Clough, director of marketing for UCS Forest Group, which distributes red grandis for Uruguaian forestry company, Urufor, the hardwood is being exported to over 30 countries around the world, with a steady increase in demand.
“In 1987 Urufor began assembling land for its plantations in northern Uruguay near the border with Brazil,” says Clough. “They acquired scrub lands that provided only marginal grazing conditions and were largely devoid of trees. Urufor then planted red grandis seedlings. Today, Urufor has 74,000 acres of forest with over half planted with red grandis. Each year Urufor only replants the acreage of red grandis that is harvested and adds acreage to meet increasing demand.
Keith Atherholt, president, Lewis Lumber Products, is a fan of this plantation-grown hardwood. He describes it as a mahogany alternative when the correct stain is applied.
“The grade is based on NHLA grading and there is a color specification as well,” he says. “This product has some exterior properties and we have scientific documentation from a UK testing lab. It is FSC certified and comes from a highland grassland region. Plus, it has a lot going for it on the green side.”
Those green qualities were recently recognized when the International Wood Products Association awarded red grandis its Environmental Award, says Clough.
Dan Caldwell, president, Atlanta Hardwood Corp., Marbleton, GA, is another fan of the wood. “Red grandis can be used for both exterior and interior applications in windows, doors, trim packages, furniture, cabinetry, flooring and more.
View more woods at the Wood of the Month archive.
Eucalyptus Grandis of the Family Myrtaceae
Eucalyptus Grandis, Flooded Gum or Rose Gum
Red grandis, Eucalyptus Grandis has an average height of 160 feet at maturity but can reach up to 250 feet. The average weight is 575 cubic kilograms with a specific gravity of 0.55.
Red Grandis is of moderate hardness. It machines and turns well to a good, smooth finish and it takes fixings with no difficulty. It glues satisfactorily, and readily accepts paint, stain and polish.