Gluta papuana is a tree growing up to 31 metres tall. The bole can be 50cm in diameter, occasionally with steeply rising buttresses 1 - 3 metres tall[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its timber.
The area in which the tree grows is now subject to heavy logging activities. The timber is sought-after for its decorative grain. The plant is classified as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
The plant is poisonous, it has sometimes been used for criminal poisoning[
Brief contact with the plant can cause allergies and chemical irritation of the skin[
The sap can cause dermatitis[
]. A resinous exudate from the wood can cause severe skin irritation[
The smoke of the burning wood can cause severe irritation, particularly to the eyes[
Australasia - New Guinea.
Seasonally inundated forest along rivers, in freshwater swamps and on well-drained soils at elevations up to 50 metres[
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The thin, moderately hard, reddish brown grained heartwood has been used specially for keels of canoes and for carving, and is also suitable for corbels and sleepers[
A resinous exudate from the wood can cause severe skin irritation[
]. The poisonous constituent of the resinous sap is volatile and will gradually disappear. For this reason, the timber of this tree must be dried and exposed for several years as it is otherwise dangerous to handle. Lacquered articles or furniture made from the dried timber may still be toxic to persons who are especially susceptible[
We have no more specific description for the wood of this species - the following description is a general one for the timber producing species in this genus.
The heartwood is a deep blood red, darkening on exposure, streaked with bands of darker colour; the sapwood is a light pink brown to almost white, usually rather wide. The texture is rather fine to moderately coarse; the grain straight to irregular; without characteristic odour or taste; mostly without lustre; only moderately durable and not highly resistant to termite attack. The green material is easier to cut than the dry wood; it works well with hand and machine tools and dresses smoothly; takes a high polish; there can be a severe dulling of cutters due to silica content. The wood is used for fine furniture, turnery, cabinetwork, specialty items, decorative veneers, joinery[
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