A well built deck can be a simultaneously practical and beautiful addition to your garden or poolside, but only if it is made from the right materials, and this applies to timber decks just as much as it applies to decks made of other materials, such as vinyl or metal. Some varieties of timber are far more suited to deck building than others, and constructing a timber deck from subpar wood species can dramatically shorten its lifespan.

Fortunately, one of the very best timbers for deck construction grows right on your doorstep. Blackbutt trees, which belong to the eucalypt family, produce timber that has a number of properties ideal for decking, and most good timber merchants stock it for deck building as well as a wide variety of other outdoor applications. Here are some of the chief advantages of choosing this remarkable wood to build your deck:


Blackbutt wood is one of the densest and most structurally strong timbers widely available, and it's no coincidence that blackbutt is used extensely as structural timber when constructing homes and other buildings. When used to create a deck, blackbutt's strength means your new deck can sustain enormous weights without buckling or bending, making blackbutt decks more than capable of bearing the weight of heavy furniture, barbecue pits and other weighty objects (or people).


The density of blackbutt wood also makes it immensely durable, and a well-constructed blackbutt deck can withstand severe impacts and shifting soils without sustaining heavy damage. When properly treated with surface sealants such as wax, blackbutt also becomes very adept at enduring inclement weather, and a well-maintained blackbutt deck should suffer no problems with rot and fungal growth than can weaken lesser decks.

Insect resistance

Because blackbutt timber is so dense, with tightly-packed grains and narrow pores, it is not an attractive target for wood-boring insects who find the redoubtable timber too difficult to digest. It is even partially resistant to the voracious appetites or termites, although some supplementary anti-termite treatments may be required if you live in a particularly termite-heavy area.

Fire resistance

Blackbutt's name can be confusing, since the timber itself is a rich, golden brown colour similar to a thousand other wood varieties. The name actually comes from the blackbutt tree's enormous resistance to fire; they are often the only plant left standing after a bushfire, blackened with soot but otherwise undamaged. This fire resistance is not lost once the timber is cut and crafted, and (providing your timber is suitably thick) a blackbutt deck can withstand serious fires without igniting and contributing to the blaze.

Environmentally friendly

Despite the density and strength of its wood, blackbutt grows remarkably quickly, and is consequently widely grown in sustainable plantations. This gives you a wide variety of eco-friendly options when you are sourcing your timber.