Agathis spp.
Family: Araucariaceae
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Other Common Names: Dakua makadre (Fiji), Kauri pine (New Zealand), Bindang (Sarawak), Menghilan (Sabah), Damar minyak (Malaya), Tolong (Brunei), Almaciga (Philippines).


Distribution: Widely distributed in Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and extending to New Guinea, New Zealand, and Fiji.  Found from sea level to high altitudes.


The Tree: Varies with species but may reach a height of 200 ft with trunk diameters of 5 to 7 ft, sometimes reaching 10 ft and more.  Boles are straight, cylindrical, without buttresses, and clear for long lengths.


The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood pale cream, golden brown, to dark reddish or yellowish brown if resinous; usually not distinct from the sapwood.  Lustrous; grain mainly straight; texture fine and uniform; generally without distinctive odor or tastes (A.  australis has a faint pleasant odor).


Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.41 to 0.47; air- dry density 30 to 36 pcf.


Mechanical Properties: (First two sets of data based on the 2-in. standard, the third set on the 2-cm standard.)


Moisture content   Bending strength   Modulus of elasticity   Maximum crushing strength

            (%)                  (Psi)                            (1,000 psi)                   (Psi)

Green (34)                     6,600                         1,330                           2,840

12%                             11,750                         1,650                           5,900


Green (15)                     7,790                         1,570                           3,370

12%                             13,070                         1,890                           5,600


Green (35)                     8,570                         1,400                           4,040

12%                             13,600                         1,600                           6,900


Side hardness 480 to 760 lb for green material and 700 to 870 lb at 12% moisture content.


Drying and Shrinkage: The timber is reported to season well with little or no degrade. Kiln schedule T7-B3 is suggested for 4/4 stock (A. alba) and kiln schedule T10-D5S for 4/4 stock (A. australis and A. vitiensis). Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 4.2%; tangential 6.0% (A. alba).


Working Properties: The timber works easily with hand and machine tools, finishes with a clean smooth surface; good nailing and screwing properties; good veneer peeling characteristics; paints and polishes well; easy to glue.


Durability: Generally reported to be nondurable and vulnerable to termite attack; prone to blue stain. Heartwood of A. australis is moderately durable in ground contact.


Preservation: Usually treatable by standard preservation techniques.


Uses: Vats and tanks, patternmaking, millwork, boatbuilding, furniture components, face veneers, shingles, pencil slats. Trees are tapped for its copal used in varnishes and lacquers (A. alba).


Additional Reading: (15), (34), (35), (65)


15.  Entrican, A. R., revised by J. S. Reid.  1949.  The properties and uses of Kauri (Agathis australis).        Inform.  Ser.  N.Z.  For.  Serv.  No.  7.

34.  Lauricio, F. M., and S. B. Bellosillo.  1966.  The mechanical and related properties of Philippine        woods.  The Lumberman 12(5):66 +A-H.

35.  Lavers, G. M. 1967.  The strength properties of timbers.  For.  Prod.  Res. Bull.  No.  50.  H. M.       Stationery Office.  London.

65.  United Kingdom: Dep.  Sci.  Ind.  Res.  1957.  A handbook of softwoods.  H. M. Stationery Office.        London.


From: Chudnoff, Martin. 1984. Tropical Timbers of the World. USDA Forest Service. Ag. Handbook No. 607.