CAFUA Eucalyptus calophylla R. Br. family Myrtaceae

marriRed gum – Eucalyptus calophylla is usually a medium-sized to tall tree up to 40 m in height and 1 – 5 m dbh, while exceptional specimens have been found to 60 m. The crown development varies with site, but under favourable conditions it is usually dense and heavily branched; The bole is commonly around one-half of the tree height. On poor soils it is sometimes of mallee form.

Marri is widely distributed in the southwest of Western Australia and the major occurrence coincides with the principal range of jarrah (E. marginata) and karri (E. diversicolor). It is abundant in the Darling Range and its overall distribution extends from north of Geraldton southwards to Cape Riche and eastwards to beyond Narrogin in the wheatlands. The latitudinal range is around 29—35°S while the altitudinal range is from just above sea level to over 300 m. The climate is warm humid to sub humid, with dry and warm to hot summers, the mean maximum temperature of the hottest month being in the range 24-30°C. The winters have mild days and usually cool nights with the mean minimum temperature of the coldest month around 4—8°C. Areas near the coast may
be frost free; elsewhere there may be 1—1 5 frosts a year. The mean annual rainfall is 650—1500 m, with a distinct winter maximum.

Marri occurs on lateritic sandy gravels of the plateau of the Darling Range and also on the slopes and plains from the Range to near sea level. While it will grow on comparatively poor soils its best development is generally found on the better sandy loam alluvium in the valleys between laterite-capped ridges. Soils where Marri grows are considered better for agriculture than those of typical Jarrah sites.

This species occurs in tall open-forest and open-forest formation and is commonly associated with Jarrah and to a lesser extent with Karri. Small pure stands occur south of Blackwood where it reaches its best development. On the drier side of its range, e.g. on the eastern remnants and slopes of the Darling plateau it may occur with other eucalypts such as Wandoo (E. wandoo), Powderbark Wandoo (E. accedens) and above Western Australian flooded gum (E.rudis) in the gullies.

Wood: Sapwood susceptible to Lyctus borer attack; heartwood pale yellow to light brown, hard, strong, durable, non-fissile, moderately resistant to termites, easily worked but marred by gum veins; density about 850 kg m‘3; .used for weatherboards, scantlings, case manufacture, tool handles, sporting goods, fence posts and piles. Once a relatively non-commercial competitor in Jarrah and Karri forests, it is now the principal species used for woodchips in Western Australia.


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