August 2, 2006

Endangered Pine Major Export Earner

Filed under: Timber Growing — shem kerr @ 4:08 am

Take Pinus radiata: a very minor species of inferior wood qualities, mediocre tree architecture for milling, and no market history. Why grow Radiata instead of, say, Black Walnut, Stringybark, or Redwood, when it doesn’t have the beauty, the strength or the durability of these more glamorous timbers? Because it grows vigorously where other trees struggle. It is reasonably undemanding as to nutrients, wind exposure. and frost; and it’s easy to grow, easy to tend. At the end of the day it has been proven (as yet) to grow more profitably over a wider range of conditions in NZ than other species. One could find another tree for nutrient poor sites, or frosty sites, but basically it’s trees from the Pinaceae that end up doing the hard row; and in New Zealand that’s radiata. If there’s anything other than grower ignoranceharvested_hillside that will work against establishing alternative species in NZ, then it’s wind, wind and more wind. I doubt that I’ll be writing much about radiata anywhere in the near future, so let’s give radiata its fifteen minutes of fame.

What is it that gets environmentalists so upset about Radiata?

Decades pass before the non-durable sapwood becomes durable heartwood. Resin gives some protection against decay. The longer the wood stays in a living tree the more resinous the wood gets, and the more resistant to to decay. While some “old man pine” is milled for fence posts, this wood is probably better used out of the ground and even with some degree of protection from the weather. Bill Honor of Huirangi is one person I know who more than 50 years ago built his house out of untreated old man pine; that is except for the sub floor bearers, for which he used Eucalyptus pilularis. I went past his house a couple of months ago, and it was still sound. Typically, old man pine is from trees over 60 years to 100 years old. tThe oldest wood doesn’t take paint all that well, and in extreme cases may even continuously and inconveniently weep sticky resin.

Stronger and more durable wood can be grown by other species in half the time. The economics of old man pine may only be as a byproduct of shelterbelts.

The vast magority of Radiata grown in Chile, South Africa, Spain, Australia and New Zealand is for a sapwood rotation of around 30 years or even less. This crop is from ‘remodelled’ breeds with faster growth, improved stem straightness, more convenient branching characteristics, greater disease resistance, and better fibre quality or stronger wood. This crop has little natural resistance to rot. Because of this, it even has only about 6 weeks from felling until it must be processed. Basically, it is just industrial feedstock that can be either chipped, pulped, milled and fingerjointed, or milled into solid timber depending on suitability or market demand.

Is this an industry in which a small grower can be involved? That depends on how small you are. Start at a minimum of 1000 cubic metres per harvest grossing on average NZ$90?/m3, or up to NZ$140/m3 for the best grades. Typical yields are around 600 m3/hectare – with about 200m3 of this as clear pruned butt logs.

The photos are of: a sawmill processind radiata; some reject logs; freshly harvested hillsides; rutted hill cable hauler harvested.

P_radiata_ skidder_ logging_and_ typical cropP_radiata_ skidder_ logging_2P_radiata_ skidder_ logging_3

This series shows typical form of Pinus radiata; skidder logging; mud; skid site.



  1. Dear Sir/Mam,
    This is Azhar Khan here and i m a marketing manager of SGS TRADERS.We are the wholeseller in Karachi Pakistan of Whitewood Sawn timber(rough in type).If undermentioned sizes and descripted wood is available at your side then kindly reply soon my minimum order will be of 300CUM.

    200 X 150 X4000(ALL IN MM)
    Rough in type
    Furniture Grade
    C&F Karchi Pakistan rate which i can efford is,
    195 US $/CUM.
    Kind Regds.
    Azhar Khan

    Comment by Azhar Khan — August 15, 2006 @ 11:07 am | Reply

  2. Dear Sir/Mam,
    We are the wholeseller of whitewood sawn timber in Karachi(Pakistan).
    Right now our demand is Radiata Pine in undermentioned sizes.

    Length: 4 meter and up
    Width:200,250.(All in MM)
    Thickness:150,200,250(All in MM)
    Shiping Dry up to 18-25% to preserve the wood from blue stain.
    Price:200 us $/CUM.
    Kind Regds.
    Azhar Khan

    Comment by Azhar Khan — September 22, 2006 @ 12:10 pm | Reply

    • we will want pine wood 3.025 meter long 225 mm width 112.5 mm thick send us its rates

      Comment by Rajiv — November 7, 2010 @ 1:48 pm | Reply

  3. Dear Sirs;

    We are pleased to introduce our company in importation &exportation.
    We import wood and we sell it in our markets and to several Arabic countries
    Your website showed that your company from the biggest companies in your counties that export the wood.
    Kindly, we would like to submit us information about the wood that you export it and we hope to be good start in business between our two companies.
    Waiting your early response
    Best regards
    P.O.BOX: 2810
    Fax: 00963-41-427606
    Cell phone: 00963-988-670663

    Comment by HANI ZEIBAK Co. — June 5, 2008 @ 12:09 pm | Reply

  4. Dear Sir/Madam,
    We are a timber trading company based in Russia. Our main line of business includes Russian timber export such as White Russian woods, Pine, Spruce, Fir and Siberian Larch. We are now trying to expand our business to Australia. The purpose of this letter is to introduce our representative in Australia, Mr Yahya Sabery Rayeny. Mr Sabery is to introduce our firm and activities in Australia and help in finding suitable customers for our products. Our volume of trade is large and we do not work with middle men rather direct with suppliers and therefore can provide you with the best price of high quality timber. We would appreciate receiving a list of timber you require including the quantities. We would then provide you with samples and our prices through Mr Sabery.
    His mobile number is 0432225240

    Comment by yahya — June 13, 2008 @ 10:17 am | Reply

  5. Cool! Peshi ischo

    Comment by Alexei — November 6, 2008 @ 5:06 am | Reply

  6. I would be interested to learn more. Any updates?

    Comment by Michael Hughes — March 12, 2010 @ 6:37 pm | Reply

  7. Yeah, any updates on this post?

    Comment by Michael Hughes — March 12, 2010 @ 6:38 pm | Reply

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    Comment by Siberian Larch Timber — November 11, 2012 @ 8:48 pm | Reply

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    Comment by Siberian Larch Timber Sale — November 11, 2012 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

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