SideStoke home | Sergei home
"I pursue as much as I can using found materials from my local area which means I am limited in the resources and work to achieve maximum results from the little I have at hand. I use fallen soft wood timbers such as pine and cypress as I find the eucalyptus here in this dry region very hard and slow to combust for higher temperatures" - Sergei Shatrov
Sergei has provided the following notes on the distribution of species on the monastery property, and his assessments of the value of the different sorts of wood as commercial timber and as fuel:
1. Eucalyptus melliodora Yellow Box 2% Best value timber but endangered species in this area. We are protecting and growing this species out. One of the most sought after timbers for both commercial value and fuel burning value. Leaves much less charcoal than other eucalypts. Longer flame length for colour. Good ash deposits.
2 Eucalyptus rubida Candle Bark 10% Nice looking tree bur poor value for burning and for commercial use. Wood is very brittle and usually hollow centred.
3. Eucalyptus radiata Narrow leafed Peppermint 3% Good timber for fuel value. Gives strong flame. Low ash deposit. Low charcoal deposit. Not commercially viable timber except for apiaries and for wood heaters.
4. Eucalytpus bridgesiana Apple Box 70% Dominant species of our area. Poor commercial value as it can never grow straight. Fair quality burning value more suited for reduction. Leaves large charcoal deposits which are hard to burn down without over oxidising the kiln. Short flame but solid fuel.
5.Eucalytpus mannifera Brittle gum 1% Very similar to Eucalytpus rubida in terms of fuel and commercial value.
6. Acacia dealbata Silver wattle or Mimosa 10% Good burning value but need to collect a lot of it for a firing. We are planting out a lot of wattles. It is not a commercial value timber. Local Aboriginal tradition is that the seed was crushed and used in making drinks and potions that has some taste qualities to that of coffee.
7. Acacia mearnsii Black wattle 2% Fast growing and excellent timber value for burning. Commercially viable for tannin. Is a severe invasive species in Africa.
8. Acacia boormanii Snowy River Wattle 1% Small, pretty but little if any burning value.
9. Salix fragilis Crack Willow 30% along river corridor. Invasive species. Currently being eradicated by authorities. Burns very well. Good for basket weaving and for animal fodder. Does not allow me to reach top temperatures however so I need to use Pinus radiata or equivalent to help finish the firing. Excellent ash qualities.
10. Pinus pinea Stone Pine. Found fallen local timber as it comes to hand. Was a staple fuel for the kiln until I discovered the how long it took for it to dry out properly as I couldn't work out why I was producing such strong carbon trapping with it. When properly dried, its a brilliant timber for burning in the kiln. Seeds are edible. Beautifully shaped pine.
11. Callitris endlicheri Black Cypress Pine. A commercially viable timber- suitable for termite resistance, furniture, roof shingles. It was so popular that it was decimated by early pioneers as it grows very slowly. Wonderful burning value - my steroid pumped timber for the kiln in finishing. I source only fallen dead Black Cypress. Brilliant long flame. Has mildly good ash deposits. Excellent reduction flame. Have to split it down quite fine for oxidation or to avoid too much reduction.