Maritime pine is a medium-sized softwood native to south-western Europe and north-western Africa, with major forestry developments on the Atlantic coast of southern France, Spain and Portugal. Extensive plantations have been established on the Swan coastal plain in Western Australia, particularly on the lower rainfall and lower nutrient soils, where radiata pine is not suitable. A major planting program has commenced in the semi-arid areas in the Wheatbelt (from 600 mm to 400 mm annual rainfall) to reduce salinity effects while providing a commercial crop.
Heartwood is pale reddish brown, and sapwood pale yellow. The texture is rather coarse and uneven, the grain is generally straight and the timber resinous.
Green density is the density of wood in the living tree, defined as green mass divided by green volume, and useful for estimating transport costs. It varies with season and growing conditions.
Air-dry density is the average mass divided by volume at 12 per cent moisture content (this is the average environmental condition in the coastal capital cities around Australia).
Basic density is oven-dry mass divided by green volume. This measure has the advantage that moisture content variations in the tree during the year are avoided.:
Green density is about 1000 kg/m3, air-dry density about 560 kg/m3, and basic density about 450 kg/m3.
Tangential and radial shrinkage before reconditioning are 5.0 and 3.0 per cent respectively, and after reconditioning 5.0 and 3.1 per cent respectively.
The timber is relatively easy to work, but knots and resin pockets are common.
The CSIRO Durability Classes are based on the performance in ground of outer heartwood when exposed to fungal and termite attack.
|1||More than 25|
|2||15 to 25|
|3||8 to 15|
|4||Less than 8|
The ratings are not relevant to above-ground use. In late 1996, CSIRO published revised ratings, which include termite susceptibility. Ratings are now available for about seventy species for decay, and for decay plus termites.:
The Durability Class is 4, based on the CSIRO provisional ratings.
Minimum values (MPa) for strength groups for green and seasoned timber come from Australian Standard AS2878-1986 'Timber - Classification of strength groups'. In grading structural timber, each species is allocated a ranking for green timber of S1 (strongest) to S7, and for seasoned timber SD1 (strongest) to SD8.
MOR is modulus of rupture or bending strength, MOE is modulus of elasticity or 'stiffness', and MCS is maximum crushing strength or compression strength. Hardness refers to the Janka hardness test and is a measure of resistance to indentation.
Minimum values (Mpa) for green timber
Minimum values (Mpa) for green timber
Where test data were available, they are shown in bold print. Most values are from Bootle (1983), Wood in Australia. Types, properties and uses. (McGraw-Hill), or Julius (1906), 'Western Australian timber tests 1906: The physical characteristics of the woods of Western Australia'.
Where no strength data were available, air-dry density was used in accordance with the Australian Standard AS2878-1986 Timber - Classification of strength groups to predict the strength group. Consequently, the strength values quoted are from the above two tables.:
Green and dry strength groups are a provisional (S6) and SD6 respectively. A provisional rating is based on mean air-dry density. The more important strength properties are given in the table below.
|Modulus of Rupture||MPa||36||83|
|Modulus of Elasticity||MPa||6600||11680|
|Max Crushing Strength||MPa||17||45|
The timber is readily available in Western Australia, which has the largest area of plantations of the species. It is less available than radiata pine.
Uses include general construction, house framing,
moulding architraves, doors, shelves, joinery and turnery, decorative
panelling, furniture, construction
veneer as a facing for particleboard, pulp and paper and reconstituted products e.g. particleboard and medium density fibreboard (MDF). If preservative-treated it can be used for posts, poles, sleepers, retaining wall, decking, cooling towers and mining timber.