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AMERICAN SOUTHERN YELLOW PINE

V. Ryan 2008

 

A much under utilised softwood.

Family: Pinacea

Made up of four botanical species:
Shortleaf Pine - Pinus echinata
Longleaf Pine - Pinus palustris
Loblolly Pine - Pinus taeda
Slash Pine - Pinus elliotti

Commercial names: Carolina Pine. Must not be confused with Quebec Yellow/White Pine (Pinus strobus) which originates from Eastern Canada and North Eastern USA.

Distribution: The species grows on an area of 78 million hectares of forest-land in Southern USA; Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
 
 
 

General Description: The heartwood is orange to reddish-brown in colour and may be resinous. The growth rings are clearly marked by the contrast between the earlywood and darker, more dense latewood giving a coarse texture, especially in rapidly grown timber. Southern Yellow Pine sheds its branches as it grows with the crown generally consisting of the upper one-third of the tree. As a result, knots are intergrown and sound with few holes or dead knots in the timber. Since, with increasing frequency the trees are grown and harvested on short rotation, saw-logs are comparatively small with sapwood predominating. The weight varies between 537 and 626 kg/m3 (34 - 39lb/ft3); specific gravity 0.54 to 0.63.

Mechanical Properties: It is one of the strongest structural timbers in the world. Unsuitable for steam bending.

Working Properties: The timber has a moderate resistance to cutting edges with machine and hand tools and finishes cleanly. It can be hard to nail but holds nails and screws firmly and can be glued without difficulty.

Durability: It is a preferred wood for pressure treatment because of the depth and uniformity of penetration achieved with chemical preservatives which assure immunity to insect attack and the elements. The timber is moderately durable.

Uses: Used extensively both domestically in the USA for house building and when treated used externally for fencing, patios and boardwalks. Used for general joinery, particularly staircase strings. Although it paints well it is far more attractive when left in a natural finish.

 
 
 
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