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Huon Pine

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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.

The Timber

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.

The Resource

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.

The Tree

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

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Properties

General Availability
Very rare. Only a limited amount is released onto the market each year.
Sizes
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.
Grain
Straight fine and even, sometimes with birds-eye figuring. Growth rings are conspicuous and usually wavy.
Texture
Close, uniform and smooth.
Durability Description
Termite resistance of heartwood: Resistant. Refer to AS 5604-2005 Timber - Natural durability ratings.
Durability
In-ground: Class 3
Above-ground: Class 3
Movement - Shrinkage
Approx 2.5% radial, 3.5% tangential.
Density
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

General workability

Blunting
Slight.
Sawing
Cuts cleanly and accurately with low feeding force.
Planing
Low feeding forces required. Surfaces very smooth and lustrous.
Moulding
Produces excellent mouldings.
Boring
Easy to drill. Holes are clean and to size.
Rebating + Mortising
Generally produces good results.
Nailing
Nails hold fairly well, except on end grain where timber can tend to split.
Gluing
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.
Bending
A very good to fair bending timber. 25mm material bends fairly well to a radius of 50mm.
Finishing
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

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Resource
Native - Rainforest
Reserves
85% of the total Huon Pine forest types are reserved
Plantation
Not available
Certification
Available
Chain of custody
Available
Carbon storage
242 kg/cu m
R Values
0.74 (100mm)
Appearance
Available
Structural
Not available
Availability
Huon Pines's availability is rare, and the resource is limited by quotas or predominant reservation.

Huon Pine Brochures

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Huon pine | Lagarostrobos franklinii

Huon Pine is a species endemic to Tasmania. 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. Download

Huon Pine Suppliers

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