Special species timbers are used to make a range of high-value products, including wooden boats, furniture as well as a range of craft products. The main species that provide special species timber are:
- Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon)
- Myrtle (Nothofagus cunninghamii)
- Celery-top pine (Phyllocladus asplenifolius)
- Sassafras (Atherosperma moschatum)
- Huon pine (Lagarostrobus franklinii)
Other popular species include:
- Silver wattle (Acacia dealbata)
- Musk (Olearia argophylla)
- Tea tree (Leptospermum scoparium)
- Horizontal scrub (Andopetalum biglandulosum)
Sustainable Timber Tasmania manages approximately 52,700 hectares of PTPZ land as a special species timbers zone and this is the primary source of special species timber. The zone is comprised of blackwood forests, rainforests and eucalypt forests that are rich in special species timbers.
Rainforests contribute the largest area of the special species timbers zone and managed specifically for the long-term production of special timbers such as myrtle, sassafras and celery-top pine. Huon pine is recovered from the Teepookana plateau, which was historically cut-over during the early 20th century, and salvaged from riverbanks and beaches around Macquarie Harbour.
Blackwood forests in north west Tasmania provide the primary source of blackwood sawlogs. Eucalypt forests rich in special species timbers also contribute a source of special species timbers.
Each year, Sustainable Timber Tasmania reviews the annual supply of special species timbers and publishes it in its Three Year Wood Production Plan. Special species timber production is aligned with the Tasmanian Special Species Management Plan 2017.
Special species timber is supplied both directly to sawmill customers and sold through its commercial business, Island Specialty Timbers, where special species timber can be purchased either in person or online from stockpiles located at Geeveston, Strahan and Smithton.