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Huon pine’s rich golden colour and figure make it one of the world’s most desirable furniture and veneering timbers.
Huon Pine is the prince of Tasmanian timbers. . Its durability and workability make it one of the best boat-building timbers known. The wood contains a natural preserving oil with an unmistakable perfume, and its fine and even grain makes the wood exceptionally easy to work with hand tools.
The ‘Piners’, early timber getters, searched the inhospitable wilderness of Tasmania’s West Coast to cut and haul out Huon Pine logs. The timber was used for everything where durability and ease of working was required; in furniture and tables, in washtubs and ships and in machinery and patterns for casting.Huon Pine is the prince of Tasmanian timbers. The richness of its golden colour and figure make it one of the world’s most desirable furniture and veneering timbers. Its durability and workability make it one of the best boat-building timbers known. The wood contains a natural preserving oil with an unmistakable perfume, and its fine and even grain makes the wood exceptionally easy to work with hand tools.
The ‘Piners’, early timber getters, searched the inhospitable wilderness of Tasmania’s West Coast to cut and haul out Huon Pine logs. The timber was used for everything where durability and ease of working was required; in furniture and tables, in washtubs and ships and in machinery and patterns for casting.
Huon pine is found in Tasmania’s cool temperate rainforests and is commonly associated with Myrtle, Sassafras, Celery Top and Blackwood. It grows along riverbanks, lakeshores and swampy locations – it generally likes its feet in the water. It can be found from sea level to about 800m, but mainly below 150m.
Because Huon Pine grows very slowly, it has limited availability. Reproduction usually occurs vegetatively; where a branch falls or touches the ground it forms roots and begins to shoot. Seedling regeneration does occur, but is less common as reproduction only occurs every 5–7 years.
This species distribution is restricted to areas in the west and south-west of Tasmania. Huon pine does not cope with fire or drought. Preferring moist and wet conditions, it grows in rugged, hard-to-access areas, along riverbanks, lakeshores and swampy locations.
85% of the area of forest types containing Huon Pine in Tasmania is reserved.
A conifer, Huon pine is probably Australia’s longest lived species; individual trees have been identified as over 2000 years old. It has an incredibly slow growth rate of about 0.3–2mm per year, taking approximately 1000 years to reach a height of 30 m and a diameter of 1 metre.
Huon pine has a straight trunk but is often forked at the crown. It is recognisable by its feathery foliage and drooping lower branches. When the tree grows near rivers it is often scruffy looking, with the branches hanging into the water and covered in lichens.
Huon pine produces pollen and seeds in small inconspicuous cones about 3mm long. These are somewhat fleshy when mature. Male and female cones grow on separate trees. Reproduction occurs every 5–7 years. A mass of seeds is dispersed a short distance around the tree.
The drooping light green foliage is made up of tiny scale-like leaves, spirally arranged on twigs. The leaf tips are blunt and ridged on the outer surface and scattered with white stomatal pores.
The bark is light brown and rather scaly.
Huon Pine Technical Details
- General Availability
- Very rare. Only a limited amount is released onto the market each year.
- Undressed seasoned timber 25 to 350 mm wide by 350 mm wide by 25 by 50 mm thick. Lengths up to 5400 mm long are available. Unseasoned timber supplied cut to order.
- Straight fine and even, sometimes with birds-eye figuring. Growth rings are conspicuous and usually wavy.
- Close, uniform and smooth.
- Durability Description
- Termite resistance of heartwood: Resistant. Refer to AS 5604-2005 Timber - Natural durability ratings.
- In-ground: Class 3
- Above-ground: Class 3
- Movement - Shrinkage
- Approx 2.5% radial, 3.5% tangential.
- Unseasoned: Unseasoned density approximately 950 kg/cu m
- Seasoned: Approx 550 kg/cu m at 12% MC
- Strength Group
- Unseasoned: S6
- Seasoned: SD6
- Joint Group
- Unseasoned: J4
- Seasoned: JD4
- Structural Grades
- F7 to F14 seasoned, F4 to F8 unseasoned.
Fire Hazard Properties
- Fire Hazard Properties: Wall and Weiling Lining (AS/NZ 3837)
- Material Group: Not available
- Cuts cleanly and accurately with low feeding force.
- Low feeding forces required. Surfaces very smooth and lustrous.
- Produces excellent mouldings.
- Easy to drill. Holes are clean and to size.
- Rebating + Mortising
- Generally produces good results.
- Nails hold fairly well, except on end grain where timber can tend to split.
- Difficulties can arise due to the presence of natural oils. Preparation may require washing with an organic solvent. Formaldehyde glues usually give the best results; other may have problems.
- A very good to fair bending timber. 25mm material bends fairly well to a radius of 50mm.
- Good results can be obtained. Use of some finishes may require washing with an organic solvent to remove some of the natural oils.
Huon Pine Environmental Details
- Native - Rainforest
- 85% of the total Huon Pine forest types are reserved
- Not available
- Chain of custody
- Carbon storage
- 242 kg/cu m
- R Values
- 0.74 (100mm)
- Not available
- Huon Pines's availability is rare, and the resource is limited by quotas or predominant reservation.