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HUON PINE

Lagarostrobos franklinii

Lagarostrobos franklinii of the family Podocarpaceae, native to Tasmania (Australia), this is NOT a pine. Like MANY Australian woods, it was given the name of a familiar tree by English settlers without regard to botanical niceties such as whether or not they were actually related in any way to the woods for which they were named.

NOTE ABOUT "BIRD'S EYE" and "BURL" HUON PINE: Some huon pine is sold as "bird's eye" due to a plethora of what appear to be small bark inclusions from branches, much as one sees in some true pines. What these actually are, I do not know but they are most certainly NOT anything like (in either appearance or character) the bird's eye found in maples in North America. Some of the wood with that exact same figure is sold as "burl", but it is does not appear to be a burl, although I'm not positive about that and when it is REALLY heavy (which doesn't seem to be very often at all) it is quite similar to "mappa burl" from tulip poplar).

LATER NOTE: my friend David Clark from Australia tells me that bird's eye figure DOES occur in huon pine and is going to try to get me a sample. He also tells me that it is illegal to log this species in Tasmania. Any wood on the market can only come from recovered logs from waterways and that from licensed salvors.

a note about huon pine vs rimu


Huon pine is primarily native to Tasmania and rimu is primarily native to New Zealand but also grows in Australia, New Caledonia, Malaysia and Borneo. The folks down there probably don't get them confused at all, I just thought I'd point out some possible confusion in the USA.

Part of the confusion probably stems from the fact that huon pine, Lagarostrobos franklinii, used to be designated as Dacrydium franklinii, whereas rimu is the common name for a couple of closely related species, Dacrydium cupressinum and Dacrydium nidulum. Also, the rimu species have huon pine as one of their common names, although they probably really shouldn't. I am not familiar with the two woods up close and personal, but it appears that they should be fairly easy to distinguish from each other.

The name-sets, as best as I can distinguish them, are as follows (the family is Podocarpaceae):
  • Dacrydium cupressinum = rimu, new zealand red pine, sempilor, rimu dacrydium, huon pine, sempilor, yaka
  • Dacrydium nidulum = rimu, melor, huon pine, fijan dacrydium, sempilor, yaka, ekor kuda, ru bukit, dakua salusalu, hoang dan and a few others
  • Lagarostrobos franklinii (syn. Dacrydium franklinii) = huon pine, tasmainian pine, huon, huon dacrydium, macquerie pine


my samples:

None yet

web pics:


planks


through and through cut and stickered bole


although this particular piece was not listed as "bird's eye" or "burl" this is EXACTLY the figure that is normally listed as one of those terms [see note at top of page about about bird's eye / burl]


planks, all from the same vendor


slabs


bookmatched slabs




NOTE: the pics in this section were contributed to the site by Bentley at Distinctive Timbers


planks


just listed as a slab, this appears to be a burl slab, although it could be a transverse slab from a stump.


turning stock listed as bird's eye huon pine [see note at top of page about about bird's eye / burl]





coasters and limb slices showing end grain


veneer


veneer listed as figured


veneer listed as bird's eye [see note at top of page about about bird's eye / burl]


pen blanks listed as burl [see note at top of page about about bird's eye / burl]





pen


pen barrel


pen listed as burl [see note at top of page about about bird's eye / burl]


wine rack


table (obviously not raw wood)


blanket box


carvings


cheese plates


coffee table with driftwood base


dressers


boxes and a kit for making a box


guitar top, solid guitar body, planks set up to use together as a solid guitar body


wall decoration listed as bird's eye [see note at top of page about about bird's eye / burl]


pepper grinders


platter


turned fruit


bowls


turned pot


two sets of nested bowls


turned box


hollow form from a particularly clear piece of huon pine --- looks a lot like cypress