Huon Pine
Lagarostrobos franklinii

Dacrydium franklinii

Other Common names:
White Pine, Macquarie Pine

The Timber

Huon Pine is a species endemic to Tasmania. It is restricted to the western and south-western parts of the state, growing along river banks, lake shores and swampy localities in mixed formations. The tree grows very slowly to about 30m in height and 1m in diameter; such a tree may be one thousand years old. Study of the growth rings of larger and older pieces (dendroclimatology) is being used as one means of determining trends in global climate change.

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 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.

Today, the quality of Huon Pine continues to be recognised, but its supply is carefully nurtured and controlled. Almost all Huon Pine forests are reserved and much of the resource that is available comes from logs salvaged from rivers, the forest floor and areas inundated by hydro electric schemes. Supply is about 500 cu. metres per year for craft and furniture industries for the next fifty years and is available from specialist sawmillers on the West Coast of Tasmania with a tradition in Huon Pine milling.