Pinus radiata. Family: Pinaceae
- Medium-sized tree.
- Grows 40–50m.
- Stem to 1m diameter.
- Branches are usually large and spreading.
- Pinecones are clearly visible on the tree.
- Bark is grey to red-brown, thick, rough, deeply fissured and sheds in small flakes.
- Native to a very small area of the west coast of North America.
- Major plantation species throughout the world, especially in:
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- Australia—grown in all states and the ACT but commercial plantings in Queensland are confined to the southern highlands.
- Sawn timber is readily available.
- Heartwood is reddish brown varying to shades of yellow.
- Sapwood is usually pale yellow to white.
- Generally straight.
- Often pronounced difference in colour between earlywood and latewood results in a very distinctive figure (pattern) when back-sawn.
- Engineering: preservative-impregnated poles for pole-frame construction, transmission poles and land poles.
- Construction: general purpose softwood used as dressed, seasoned timber in general house framing, flooring, lining, joinery, mouldings and laminated beams; preservative-impregnated timber in sawn or round form in fencing, pergolas, landscaping, retaining walls, playground equipment; manufacture of Scrimber.
- Decorative: furniture, outdoor furnishings (preservative-impregnated), plywood, joinery, turnery, carving.
- Others: structural plywood, scaffold planks, wood wool, paper products, particleboard, and medium-density fibreboard.
- Density: Australia—545kg/m3 at 12% moisture content; about 1.8m3 of seasoned sawn timber per tonne; New Zealand—490kg/m3, about 2m3/t.
- Strength groups: Australia—S6 unseasoned, SD6 seasoned. New Zealand—S7 unseasoned, SD6 seasoned.
- Stress grades: Australia—F4, F5, F7, F8 (unseasoned), F5, F7, F8, F11, F14 (seasoned); New Zealand—F4, F5, F7 (unseasoned), F5, F7, F8, F11, F14 (seasoned) when visually stress-graded according to AS 2858—2008: Timber—Softwood—Visually stress-graded for structural purposes.
- Joint groups: Australia—J4 unseasoned, JD4 seasoned; New Zealand—JD4 seasoned.
- Shrinkage to 12% MC: 5.1% (tangential), 3.4% (radial).
- Unit shrinkage: 0.27% (tangential), 0.20% (radial)—these values apply to timber reconditioned after seasoning.
- Lyctine susceptibility: sapwood is not susceptible to lyctine borer attack.
- Termite resistance: not resistant.
- Durability above-ground: Class 4 (life expectancy less than 7 years).
- Durability in-ground: Class 4 (life expectancy less than 5 years).
- Preservation: plantation trees have a high proportion of sapwood, which readily impregnates with commercial preservative. Heartwood can’t be adequately treated using available commercial processes.
- Seasoning: to avoid distortion, framing sizes should be dried using high temperatures; boards may be air-dried or kiln-dried at conventional or high temperatures.
- Hardness: soft (rated 5 on a 6-class scale) to indent and work with hand tools.
- Machining: machines, and turns well, but keep planer blades sharp to avoid surface ridging.
- Fixing: nails may occasionally follow the growth rings; use nail guns for good results.
- Gluing: glue can absorb differently between earlywood and latewood, but this rarely causes problems.
- Finishing: readily accepts paint, stain and polish.
- Sapwood: pale yellow.
- Heartwood: reddish brown, varying to shades of yellow.
- Texture: non-uniform, consisting of alternating bands of earlywood and latewood; straight grain; knots usually present in constructional timber grades.
- Growth rings: clearly visible, latewood forms a dense dark band; false rings are rare; abrupt transition from earlywood to latewood.
- Vessels: absent.
- Resin canals: numerous, prominent as lines, on dressed longitudinal surfaces.
- Parenchyma: absent.
- Rays: fine, visible with a lens.
- Odour: wood generally has a resinous odour.
Research and resources
- Ilic, J 1991, CSIRO atlas of hardwoods, Crawford House Press, Bathurst, Australia.
- Queensland Government, DAF 2018, Construction timbers in Queensland: Properties and specifications for satisfactory performance of construction timbers in Queensland. Class 1 and Class 10 buildings, Books 1 & 2, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Brisbane.
- Standards Australia, 2000, AS 2858-2008: Timber—Softwood —Visually stress-graded for structural purposes, Standards Australia International, Strathfield, NSW.
- Last reviewed: 12 Dec 2018
- Last updated: 12 Dec 2018