USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
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Wood Technology Transfer Fact Sheet

Pinus caribaea

Caribbean Pine

Family: Pinaceae

Other Common Names: Pino (generally in Latin America), Ocote (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua).

Distribution: Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Bahama Islands, and Cuba; widely introduced as a plantation species throughout the world (Australia, South Africa, Surinam, and elsewhere).

The Tree: Grows to a height of 100 ft and with trunk diameters of 30 to 40 in., occasionally larger. Boles are clear up to 70 ft and with moderate taper.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood generally golden brown to red brown and distinct from the lighter sapwood. Texture somewhat coarse; grain is typically straight; luster medium; strong resinous odor; growth zones generally clearly defined but often lacking in juvenile wood. Compression wood often present, at least in plantation-grown wood.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) varies considerably and may range from 0.34 to 0.68; air-dry density 26 to 51 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (First two sets of data based on the 2-in. standard; third set on the 1-in. standard.)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (4) 11,190 1,880 4,900

12% 16,690 2,240 8,540

Green (1) 9,000 1,610 4,600

12% 14,700 1,950 7,830

12% (2) 8,830 920 NA

Janka side hardness 980 lb for green material and 1,240 lb at 12% moisture content. Forest Products Laboratory toughness average for green and dry material is 251 in.-lb. (5/8-in. specimen).




Drying and Shrinkage: The timber air-seasons rather slowly with a tendency for end splitting in thick stock. Low density plantation wood reported to dry rapidly with no checking and only slight warp. Kiln schedule T1 0-D4S is suggested for 4/4 stock and T8-D3S for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 6.3%; tangential 7.8%; volumetric 12.9%.

Working Properties: The timber is easy to work with either hand or machine tools; however, high resin contents may cause some downtime due to gumming of cutters and machine tables. Takes nails and screws well and glues satisfactorily.

Durability: Durability and resistance to insect attack varies with resin content, heartwood generally rated moderately durable. Sapwood prone to blue stain.

Preservation: Sapwood is highly permeable and is easily treated by open-tank or pressure-vacuum systems. Heartwood is rated as moderately resistant and depends on the resin content.

Uses: General light and heavy construction, carpentry, flooring, joinery, utility poles and railroad crossties (treated), boat building, vats, utility plywood, pulp and paper products.

Additional Reading:

1. Armstrong, F. H. 1953. The strength properties of timber. Dept. Sci. Ind. Res. For. Prod. Res. Bull. No. 28. HMSO. London, UK.

2. Boone, R. S. and M. Chudnoff. 1972. Compression wood formation and other characteristics of plantation-grown Pinus caribaea. USDA For. Serv. Res. Pap ITF-13, Institute of Tropical Forestry. Rio Piedros, Puerto Rico.

3. Longwood, F. R. 1962. Present and potential commercial timbers of the Caribbean. USDA Ag. Handbook No. 207. Washington, DC, USA.

4. Wangaard, F. F., W. L. Stern and S. L. Goodrich. 1955. Properties and uses of tropical woods, V. Tropical Woods 1031-139.


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