Common Name(s): Parana pine, Brazilian pine
Scientific Name: Araucaria angustifolia
Distribution: Southern Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina
Tree Size: 65-115 ft (20-35 m) tall,
2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 33.9 lbs/ft3 (545 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): 0.42, 0.54
Janka Hardness: 810 lbf (3,610 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 13,390 lbf/in2 (92.3 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 1,648,000 lbf/in2 (11.37 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 7,570 lbf/in2 (52.2 MPa)
Shrinkage: Radial: 3.8%, Tangential: 7.4%,
Volumetric: 11.6%, T/R Ratio: 1.9
Color/Appearance: Heartwood is light to medium brown, commonly with red streaks. Sapwood is light yellow and not always clearly distinguished from the heartwood.
Grain/Texture: Grain is straight, with a uniform medium texture and low natural luster.
Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable to perishable; poor insect resistance.
Workability: Easy to work with hand or machine tools. However, Parana pine has a tendency to warp and distort during drying, and compression wood may be present in the wood, which cause boards to further distort after ripping or resawing. Glues and finishes well.
Odor: No characteristic odor.
Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, wood in the Araucaria genus has been reported to cause skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.
Pricing/Availability: Extensively logged in the past, Parana pine is very seldom available. Expect prices to be much higher than comparable domestic softwoods.
Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is on the IUCN Red List. It is listed as critically endangered due to a population reduction of over 80% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation.
Common Uses: Veneer, furniture, flooring, and interior millwork.
Comments: Named after the Brazilian state of Parana, where the wood has been heavily exploited in the past. It’s sometimes known by the simpler name Brazilian pine—though the trees are also found in Paraguay and Argentina. Despite its common name, the tree is technically not a true pine in the Pinus genus.
In addition to the normal wood, tight knots from long-dead Araucaria trees are collected from the forest floors in Brazil. Called clavos de pino, or pine nails, these small, conical wood chunks feature vibrant reddish orange color, and have a recorded density of up to 74.3 lbs/ft3 (1,190 kg/m3). They are usually burned as firewood, or sometimes used for small ornamental projects or turnings.
Resin canals: absent
Tracheid diameter: medium-large
Grain contrast: low
Parenchyma: none; sometimes contains resinous tracheids (resin plugs) with dark reddish-brown contents which look nearly identical to diffuse parenchyma
Lookalikes/Substitutes: Monkey puzzle (Araucaria araucana) is a closely related, CITES-protected species also found in South America. While not foolproof, Parana pine can sometimes be separated from monkey puzzle based on its reddish streaks, which are far less common in A. araucana. Additionally, while splinters from both woods burn to full ash, A. araucana splinters burn to a light gray to whitish-colored ash, while A. angustifolia burns to a dark gray to black-colored ash.