Most of the wood I use for the eucalyptus didgeridoos is the Darwin Wooli Butt eucalyptus, or eucalyptus miniata. This timber grows in abundance all over the top end of the NT in Australia. It gets this name “wooli butt” from the way the bark looks like on the tree. The wooli butt grows in tropical savannah woodland areas that have always had fires in the dry season. Most bush fires up nth aren’t like the ones in the south that can burn extremely hot and fierce. These seasonal fires up the top end are regularly started naturally from lightning and burn fast and low, often with fronts that are only a few metres deep. They swept through each year and clean up the bush floor allowing seeds to come out and new growth to sprout or regenerate before the wet season kicks in. Over hundreds of thousands of years the Wooli butt has evolved to withstand these fast burning brush fires and has developed a thick paper like bark at the base of its trunk to protect the tree from the heat of the grass fires that rip through the land, over the “Wooli butts” trunk as it cleans up the bush. The name resembles the appearance of the tree as with this fluffy bark on its base, it looks to have “a wooli butt” on it. I guess the names heritage comes along with the typical Australian outlook of viewing our world in humorous ways
All the timber I use to make my didges is harvested using a selective cutting, drill/test method. That means each tree that is deemed a suitable shape and size is first drilled into with a small auger bit in two places first before cutting it down. This way it can be checked for the size and quality of the bore inside, at the mouthpiece and bell ends of the log. This way the wrong trees aren’t cut down and left to be wasted. This method is defiantly a lot slower than other unsustainable methods of clear cutting and random guessing for a good bore. The drill/check method takes much more time and many hours/days/weeks of walking through the bush for dozens of kilometres to find only the best termite hollowed trees for didgeridoo making. Harvesting eucalyptus didgeridoos can be done sustainably and correctly, and I think this is extremely important to do so for both cultural and environmental reasons. All this land is sacred to both the traditional owners and to us Australians with a European heritage and it needs to be respected and not abused for bigger profits or simply saving time. The eco-systems our native bush lands provide for our unique flora and fauna is also very delicate and it’s so important to do our best to make a minimal impact upon it. This way we are together supporting a culturally & eco-friendly didgeridoo industry instead of a damaging one.