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Red river gum tree on the riverbank

The Iconic Nature of Ancient River Red Gum

Pool and snooker tables require exacting standards to select the timber used in production. We want to ensure that every piece makes sense in the design and that the table outlasts generations. At Quedos, our craftsmen use many hardwoods in our tables, but we frequently come back to our favourite Australian native species.

There may be nothing more iconic than native hardwood species with their long, storied past in Australia.

With many examples of high-quality timber both in Australia and around the world, the craftsmen at Quedos have the difficult job of finding the right look for each table they create. Some of our most iconic tables incorporate native timbers in very particular ways, including the use of old Jarrah timber for The Rustic and the use of Marri in a number of models.

Our customers frequently request Australian native species due to the incredible, durable qualities of these timbers. That’s why you will notice quite a few examples of Jarrah, Marri, and Blackbutt, as well as other Australian timbers, in our tables. Our Designer collection, in particular, showcases the ways that these bright and iconic timbers can add effortless style to a pool table.

But our craftsmen didn’t want to stop at just popular native timber. They thought long and hard about the potential of other, much older, wood. Thousands of years ago, when the Murray River was faster, broader, and colder, ancient trees of the Australian Red River Gum species fell into the river. But these trees did not begin the process of decay. Instead, the exceptional circumstances of the river water helped spark a natural method of preservation.

 

Repurposing Ancient Australian Red Gum

Timber salvaged from the banks of the Murray River is wonderfully unique. But it is also extremely durable when repurposed into items like our pool and snooker tables. Our craftsmen are pleased to bring this material to our tables to add a distinct note of Australian history and culture.

Red Gum trees along the riverbank of the Murray river.

 

Properties of Australian River Red Gum

Australian River Red Gum is a common and fast-growing timber variety. Regular Australian Red Gum timber finds its way into many activities, including furniture pieces and woodwork. It is incredibly durable but also very strong. All types of woodworkers gravitate towards this hardwood. They love to take advantage of the long-lasting nature of this wood.

Besides its solid qualities, Australian Red Gum is absolutely a beautiful timber to work with and use for woodworking. This younger example of Australian timber generally displays a brilliant red heartwood. It has grain interlocked with gum veins, which creates truly unique furniture pieces. People are attracted to the inconsistencies in the wood because it helps showcase the rawness of this timber.

Commonly found alongside rivers, this timber ranges in colour from pink to almost black. Timber distributors will often choose to salvage wood that has already toppled over rather than cut down young growth. These trees can live as long as 700 years along the river. They accomplish this feat thanks to their adaptations to withstand periods of drought or periods of flooding waters.

 

What Makes Ancient Australian Red Gum Special?

You might be curious about why Quedos focuses on salvaging ancient timber when there is an ample supply of young Red Gum in Australia. Red Gum has many lovely properties, and there may be pieces that are hundreds of years old. This type of timber is strong and beautiful, but our designs needed something extra special. We sought out something older and grander than the young Red Gum. It also features a colour that is more uncommon than brilliant red. We found one of the rarest timbers in all of Australia – Ancient Australian Red Gum.

This ancient timber began its journey centuries ago. Colossal Red Gums once grew along the banks of the Murray River. As this river changed course, they started to topple into the water. The banks in those times were unstable. Many giant trees became immersed in the cold water of the Murray River.

The acidity of the water preserved these trees, and over the centuries, the entombed wood slowly absorbed the minerals and chemicals of the mud, sand and gravel. The resulting oxidising and ebonising process turned the wood from red to black. These processes also served to harden the timber into the firm, durable material we have today.

It is impossible to replicate the colour of this timber with any human process. With the appearance of polished stone, this timber has a gorgeous, shiny black surface. And after being dried with proper methods, it is remarkably stable and durable. Our craftsmen spend many patient hours shaping and working this timber to the correct specifications for our tables.

Most of the timber we work with at Quedos has verification attesting to it being over 2000 years old. As a consequence of its age, this wood, known as Ancient River Red Gum, is limited in supply and valuable. Painstaking efforts go into salvaging every piece from the banks of the Murray River. And there is a limited supply left in the world that is genuine Ancient Red Gum.

Every year it becomes more difficult to recover this ancient hardwood from the riverbanks. This fact is more accurate in periods of drought when the river has been dry too long. It is a lesson in patience and perseverance that any of the table designs at Quedos display Ancient Australian River Red Gum.

Dead Red Gum trees in the middle of the river.

 

Ancient Red Gum Colour Variation

Young Australian Red Gum varies from light pink to black, with unique grain designs and imperfections. But there are also gorgeous variations in colour and design with the Ancient Red Gum we work with at Quedos. Variable grain patterns mean that it is impossible to find two identical pieces.

Ancient Red Gum is unique since the process of its preservation turns the wood into a shiny black. However, the distinct look and feel of timber are still present in each piece. Anytime we incorporate it into a table, there are unique distinctions that help make it special to that table.

 

Sourcing of Native Hardwood

We responsibly source every type of native hardwood that our team uses for pool and snooker tables. We give the same respect for the iconic Ancient Red Gum. However, our work doesn’t stop there. Our team assures you that the Ancient Red Gum slabs we use in our tables are not only authentic but purchased from reputable sources that care about respecting the natural environment of the wood.

A red river gum trunk.

 

Incorporating Ancient Red Gum into The Advocate

Despite the difficulties that arise when working with this robust, almost fossilised timber, Quedos loves finding ways to add little touches of Ancient Red Gum when we can. This special touch is usually in the form of a small addition, like a corner inlay or special insert. But the history and cultural significance of this timber carry tremendous impact no matter the amount used in a Quedos table.

The iconic Red Gum tree has been a part of the Australian environment for thousands of years and will continue to dominate the riverbanks for years to come. Adding a piece of Ancient Red Gum into a pool or snooker table design is a way of taking that piece of Australian history into your home.

As an extra special touch, Quedos can incorporate corner inlays made from Ancient Australian Red Gum into your pool or snooker table. This addition is one way our craftsmen are thinking above and beyond function to make each table a work of art that should be on display even when it is not in use.

One of our designs, The Advocate, features these unique corner inlays from Ancient Australian Red Gum. Not only will the Ancient Red Gum inlays create a beautiful and distinctive addition to your Quedos pool table, but they will also certainly make for an intriguing topic for discussion over a serious game of pool. There may be no better way to showcase the rich history and culture of the Australian continent than by adding Ancient Red Gum to the design of our most incredible table designs.

Small choices have huge impacts when it comes to our table designs. Quedos uses Ancient Red Gum in the design of The Advocate to make that a reality. Using Ancient Red Gum in your pool or snooker table may be the right choice if you are looking to try something new and noteworthy.

The Advocate pool table inn Blackbutt incorporated with River Red Gum.

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