Forest Friday is looking at Rosewood – Dysoxylum fraserianum.

“Knowledge is great, understanding is better”

This is a chance for us to explore the different trees we use in our permaculture designs. There is so much to understand about a tree before placing it in a system, and by giving a tree what it needs to thrive, the whole system can benefit from the many design and ecologic functions they provide. Savour Soil Permaculture is currently planting lots of Rosewood trees across many of our projects in the hope to re-evolve this rare and beautiful tree.


  • Subtropical and Tropical Climate
  • Native to Northern NSW and South QLD
  • Found in dry Sclerophyll Rainforest
  • Enjoys rich soils to reach full potential
  • Propagated from fresh seed
Needs, Tolerances + Susceptibilities:

  • It is drought tolerant but does well with adequate moisture
  • Prefers well drained slightly acidic soil
  • Shade tolerant but can grow in full sun.
  • Needs protection when young and establishing
  • Tolerates mild frost
  • Dioecious – needing both male and female to bear fruit
  • Susceptible to lyctus borer (powder post beetle) attack of the sapwood
Charactoristics + Behaviours:

  • Forms a dense spreading crown
  • Height 40m+ and 3.5m wide
  • Painfully slow growing at first
  • Can speed up after a few years
  • Evergreen
  • Long-lived
  • Slow to decompose
  • Cream to mauve flowers in Autumn/Winter then capsules that ripen in December
  • Termite resistant
Design Function:

  • Ornamental for large parks
  • Shade/Canopy tree
  • Wood lot – timber tree for future yield

  • Fragrant red timber has persistent rose fragrance when freshly cut
  • Highly valued cabinetry timber for its structure, colour and ease of work- furniture, engraving, turning.
  • No longer available as commercial product – recycled timber only
  • Rainforest blue essential oil
  • Oil has antimicrobial properties, Oil made from bark is blue when distilled
Ecological Function:

  • Great habitat tree as part of a diverse ecosystem
  • Over logging has meant it is now rare.
  • Currently listed in RIC Good wood guide as wood to avoid due to it only coming from old growth forest.
  • Only remaining wild specimens are the poor genetics left behind.
  • By planting, protecting and caring for this endemic tree we can begin to re-evolve the species, helping to preserve its beauty qualities for future generations.

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