King Billy Pine
King William Pine is a conifer endemic to Tasmania, and found only in highland rainforest areas above 600m. It is a medium sized tree about 25-30 metres high and 60-90cm in diameter.
King Billy Pine timber is soft and very light – 400kg/m3 – but also remarkably strong. It is machinable, stable and easy to sand and finish. Historic uses included window frames and doors, light vessels including rowing boats and dinghies, interior fittings for boats, shingles and water pipelines. These days it is highly sought after by musical instrument makers as sound boards, as its straight grain and stability provide excellent, true resonance. Craftsmen also value it for picture frames, feature boxes and drawer fronts.
Huon Pine is a conifer endemic to Tasmania, and found only in the west and south west of the island. It is a feature tree of the climax wet temperate rainforest and grows on the edge of rivers. It is acknowledged to be the world’s second oldest tree (after the bristle-cone pine in USA) and individuals have been aged to well over 3,000 years.
Huon Pine is one of the world’s most durable timbers: specimens have been dug up from under the soil and dated to 38,000 years old, still in excellent condition It contains an oil – methyl eugenol – which makes it resistant to most boring insects, including termites and marine borers, and therefore very attractive to wooden boat builders. Huon pine timber is soft and light – 520kg/m – and exceptionally stable, making it wonderful furniture material.