USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
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Wood Technology Transfer Fact Sheet

Dacrydium spp.


Family: Podocarpaceae

Other Common Names: Huon Pine (Australia), Sempilor (Sabah), Melor (Sarawak), Ru Bukit, Ekor Kuda (Malaya).

Distribution: New Zealand, Australia, New Caledonia, Malay Archipelago, and Borneo.

The Tree: Usually 60 to 100 ft in height, with a long, straight, clear bole with little taper diameters mostly 2 to 4 ft. Heights of 120 ft and trunk diameters of 8 ft are reported.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood pale yellow, yellowish brown or reddish brown, varying with species, irregular dark streaks in D. cupressinum; sapwood paler, not always clearly differentiated. Texture fine and even; grain straight; sometimes with resinous odor.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) varies with species 0.40 to 0.52; air-dry density 30 to 40 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (16) 7,440 1,220 3,290

12% 11,100 1,310 5,430

Green (10) 6,440 790 3,050

12% 8,500 1,070 5,830

Janka side hardness 625 lb for green material and 785 lb for dry.

Drying and Shrinkage: Reported to dry readily without serious degrade; green moisture contents, though, are very high. Kiln schedule T13-C4S is suggested for 4/4 stock and T11-D3S for 8/4. Shrinkage green to 12% moisture content: radial 3.0%; tangential 4.2%; volumetric 6.2%.

Working Properties: Easy to work with hand and machine tools; turns well, and takes good finish. Dry wood tends to split on nailing so green wood is used in framing or is prebored.

Durability: Not durable in ground contact.

Preservation: Heartwood is resistant to preservative treatments but sapwood is responsive to pressure and nonpressure systems.

Uses: Light construction, joinery, furniture components, flooring, boxes and crates, plywood.

Additional Reading: (9), (16), (82)

9. Burgess, P. F. 1966. Timbers of Sabah. Sabah For. Rec. No. 6.

16. Entrican, A. R., W. C. Ward, and J. S. Reid. 1951. The physical and mechanical properties of the principal indigenous woods of New Zealand. New Zealand Forest Service, Wellington.

82. Ward, W. C., revised by J. S. Reid. 1949. The properties and uses of Rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum). inform. Ser. N.Z. For. Serv. No. 2.

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