Common Name(s): Huon Pine, Rimu, New Zealand Red Pine
Scientific Name: Dacrydium spp. (and the closely related Lagarostrobos franklinii)
Distribution: Australia, New Zealand, and southeast Asia
Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-4 ft (.6-1.2 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 35 lbs/ft3 (560 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .47, .56
Janka Hardness: 920 lbf (4,110 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 11,070 lbf/in2 (76.3 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 1,339,000 lbf/in2 (9.23 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 6,320 lbf/in2 (43.6 MPa)
Shrinkage: Radial: 4.4%, Tangential: 6.1%, Volumetric: 10.9%, T/R Ratio: 1.4
Color/Appearance: Varies from light yellow to golden or reddish brown. Darker reddish brown streaks are common in Dacrydium species.
Grain/Texture: Grain is straight or sometimes wavy. Texture is fine and uniform. Moderate natural luster.
Endgrain: Resin canals absent; earlywood to latewood transition moderately abrupt, color contrast medium; tracheid diameter medium-large.
Rot Resistance: Varies depending on species and application. Generally regarded as having good durability in marine applications, though Dacrydium spp. are rated as non-durable in applications of direct ground contact.
Workability: Generally easy to work with both hand and machine tools, though wood with wavy or knotty grain can be slightly problematic. Glues, finishes, and turns well.
Odor: Has a unique resinous odor when being worked.
Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, wood in the Dacrydium genus has been reported to cause nose, eye and throat irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.
Pricing/Availability: Being that Huon Pine is slow growing, with the trees not reproducing until they are several hundred years old, supplies are limited and expected to only decrease in the future. The wood is occasionally exported; expect prices to be medium to high for an imported softwood.
Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but Lagarostrobos franklinii is reported by the IUCN as being conservation dependent. Cessation of any current conservation programs would likely result in a vulnerable or endangered Red List status. Dacrydium cupressinum and D. nidulum are both listed by the IUCN as being species of least concern.
Common Uses: Furniture, turned objects, flooring, veneer, and boatbuilding.
Comments: So named because early explorers of Tasmania (then named Van Diemen’s Land) found old tree stumps and logs (still intact) in the Huon River.
Huon Pine was formerly classified as Dacrydium franklinii, but was later moved to its own genus, Lagarostrobos. Rimu is a closely related wood composed of a handful of species still in the Dacrydium genus, primarliy D. cupressinum and D. nidulum. It is sometimes referred to as New Zealand Red Pine.
Like nearly all native pines in the southern hemisphere, Huon Pine is not a true pine, though it is a conifer (softwood). True pines belong to the Pinus genus and grow almost exclusively in the northern hemisphere.