Pine, Radiata

Radiata pine is native to the central coast of California but is widely planted in Australia and New Zealand. It makes up 28% of Tasmania’s timber plantations and is popular in all types of construction and decorative uses. These include framing, lining, glue laminated beams, veneer and plywood. It can be used for many exposed structural and non-structural applications if it is treated with the right preservatives.

The texture of radiata pine is fine, but uneven, and knots are common. The timber is fairly soft and has a low density, often with very wide annual growth rings. The sapwood is white to pale yellow, but often indistinguishable from the heartwood, which is light brown to yellow. The grain is usually straight, apart from a central core of 100mm, which can twist if the moisture content of the timber changes.

Radiata pine is easy to work, apart from the knots, and it readily accepts preservatives. Timber that is high in resin can be hard to glue and the resin may mar painted and stained exteriors. It does not cause staining of alkaloid surfaces such as fibre-cement and concrete.  

Radiata pine is not resistant to termites. It can be preservative treated to increase its durability.


Radiata pine's sapwood is white to pale yellow, but often indistinguishable from the heartwood, which is light brown to yellow. The grain is usually straight, apart from a central core of 100mm, which can twist if the moisture content of the timber changes. The texture of radiata pine is fine, but uneven, and knots are common. The timber is fairly soft and has a low density, often with very wide annual growth rings.

Common Applications

Radiata pine plantations are set to become the main source of timber in Australia. Radiata pine can be used in a wide range of applications, including as a domestic and commercial structural timber, flooring, lining, furniture, panels (such as veneer, plywood, particleboard, fibreboard), corestock, brushware, turnery, toys, poles, posts, sleepers, mining timbers (treated), landscaping, pulp and paper.



Common Form



Radiata pine is easy to work except for the knots, and it nails satisfactorily. Apart from the core, it is easy to dry, and because it dries quickly, it is usually kiln dried directly from being green. During the warmer months it is very susceptible to bluestain. There can be problems with timber that is high in resin content: it can be hard to glue, and knots, resin streaks and latewood can emit enough resin to mar exterior coatings. Timber that is high in resin should be used for structural purposes only. It is not suitable for steam bending as it is hard to obtain a smooth curve. It readily accepts preservatives, which provide protection to Hazard level 6 (the highest level).

Radiata pine can be prone to surface checking when exposed uncoated to the weather or when coated only with stain-type finishes, which are less protective against moisture penetration.

Origin of Timber


Readily Available


Availability - Further Information

Because of the large areas planted with this species in Australia and NZ, radiata pine is considered to be the major general purpose timber in Australia.

Availability - Further Information



Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Tangential :




Unit Movement Tangential:


Unit Movement Radial:


Strength Group

Very High


Reasonably High

Medium High


Reasonably Low


Very Low


















Stress Grade

No. 1
No. 2
No. 3
No. 4
No. 5












Density per Standard





Joint Group

Very High


Reasonably High



Very Low
















  White, yellow, pale straw to light brown Pink to pink brown Light to dark red Brown, chocolate, mottled or streaky

Mechanical Properties

Modulus of Rupture - Unseasoned:


Modulus of Rupture - Seasoned:


Modulus of Elasticity - Unseasoned:


Modulus of Elasticity - Seasoned:


Maximum Crushing Strength - Unseasoned:


Maximum Crushing Strength - Seasoned:


Impact - Unseasoned:


Impact - Seasoned:


Toughness - Unseasoned:

Medium - 15 - 24 Nm

Toughness - Seasoned:

Low - up to 15 Nm

Hardness - Unseasoned:


Hardness - Seasoned:



Low Moderate Reasonably High High
(0 - 5 yrs) (5 - 15 yrs) (15 - 25 yrs) (more than 25 yrs)


(0 - 7 yrs) (7 - 15 yrs) (15 - 40 yrs) (More than 40 yrs)

Above ground:

(0 - 20 yrs, usually < 5) (21 - 40 yrs) (41 - 64 yrs) (More than 60 yrs)

Marine Borer Resistance:

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility:

Not Susceptible

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility - Other:

Termite Resistance:

Not Resistant

Fire Properties

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

EFH Ignitibility:

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

EFH Spread-of-Flame Index:

EFH Smoke-Developed Index:

Critical Radiance Flux - Lower:

>2.2 and <4.5; same for ply ≥17mm

Critical Radiance Flux - Higher:

>2.2 and <4.5; same for ply ≥17mm

Smoke Development Rate:

<750; the same for ply ≥17mm
1 - non-combustible 2 - reasonably non-combustible 3 - slightly combustible 4 - combustible

Fire Properties Group

Group Number - Other:

3 (same for plywood ≥6mm)

Average Specific Extinction Area:


Bushfire Resistance:

BAL 12.5 and 19 - All AS 3959 Required Applications

Temporary Structures

While wood is well known for permanent structures such as framing, beams and flooring, it plays an equally important role for temporary structures.

Building sites, both small and large, rely on wooden temporary structures to guarantee both the success and safety of construction projects. Wood is favoured for temporary structures as it easy to handle and work and can be re-used.  Wood doesn't conduct electricity and heat so offers more safety than metal alternatives.

Wood's favourable strength-to-weight ratio means that timber structures can often be erected without relying on support from other temporary structures. Concrete and masonry require support from timber falsework, especially arches that cannot take their own load during preliminary construction.

The most common temporary structures are formwork and scaffolding. Formwork provides a temporary structure used in the casting of concrete, and scaffolding is an elevated platform that supports construction workers, materials and tools.



From pallets to customised packing solutions, timber is a highly flexible, efficient packaging material that delivers value, performance and environmental benefits. As packaging usually uses lower grades of timber, it also optimises log utilisation. Wood consistently delivers value across the supply chain.

Environmental benefits

Similarly to choosing wood in other applications, using wood packaging can reduce your organisation’s carbon footprint. Wood packaging has two main environmental advantages.

Low embodied energy

The first is that it has low levels of embodied energy, a measure of the man-made energy (usually in the form of fossil fuels) that has been used in its manufacture and transport it to its place of first use.

Lower embodied energy is associated with reduced greenhouse gas emissions and lower energy costs.

Carbon storage

Up to half the dry weight of wood is carbon, removed, as CO2, from the atmosphere and stored for life by a growing tree. The carbon stored, or sequestered, in wood packaging is stored there indefinitely - until the wood is burnt or rots.

Reuse and recycling


The average life of a pallet is approximately ten years. During that time they may be repaired or refurbished more than once. A similar process applies to other wooden packaging, including crates, cases, boxes, bins and cable reels.

Once it is no longer vilable to reuse wooden packaging it can be recycled into a whole range of different products or used as bio energy.

Options for end-of-life wooden packaging include:

  • Particleboard and other manufactured timber products
  • Furniture and other wooden items
  • Animal bedding
  • Mulch and compost
  • Bio filter
  • Renewable bioenergy

More information can be found at

An international trade

Wood packaging, when heat sterilised or fumigated according to the international standard ISPM-15, is safely used for transporting goods all over the world.


Typically wood packaging includes:

  • pallets
  • boxes and bins
  • crates and cases
  • reels, spools & cable drums
  • dunnage


Pallets are platforms used to facilitate the handling of goods by forklifts.

Pallets became popular with the advent of the forklift truck and containerised transport as they increased the efficiency of loading and unloading freight.

Today, pallets are used for storage as well as freight and are an integral part of most racking and warehousing systems. In some cases, pallets are even used to display products in retail or wholesale environments.

In Australia, timber pallets are made from both hardwoods and softwoods and they are used in many industries and forms of transport.

Pallets are either owned by the company using them or hired from a pallet hire company. The hired pallets are often referred to as the ‘pool pallets’.

Types of pallets

There are many types of pallet and a range of internationally recognised pallet sizes. [LINK TO Specifications].

Most wooden pallets are of either bearer (called stringer in the USA) or block construction.

Bearer pallets are characterised by the use of two or more (usually three) parallel wooden bearers to form a frame, to which the deck boards are attached.

Block pallets feature perpendicular bearers running at right angles to the parallel bearers. Typically bearer pallets are stronger than block pallets.

Typically, block pallets allow four way entry by forklifts, whereas bearer pallets are usually able to be lifted from two sides.

How many pallets?

Worldwide, there are be billions of pallets in use or in storage. In Australia it is estimated that there are more than 30 million pallets, either in the hire ‘pool’ or privately owned.

The advantages of wooden pallets

The majority, around 85%, of pallets in use are wooden. Reasons for specifying wood as the material of preference include:

  • low cost
  • good strength and stiffness for the price
  • quick and easy to make
  • easily customisable
  • readily available globally
  • recyclable
  • made from a renewable material
  • high friction to minimise freight movement
  • easily repairable

Timber Packaging

Boxes, bins and crates

Wooden boxes, bins and crates are used in situations that require containment and protection from damage. Often of a large size, timber packaging may be specified with the rigidity and strength required for warehousing and shipping.

A box has minimal internal framing, the side, floor and top panels provide its structural strength and they are usually solid without gaps.

A crate has a frame that forms the structure. A crate may have gaps for ventilation and may be covered with cladding of some form.

A bin will typically have an internal frame for support and more substantial cladding than a crate.

The advantages of wood for boxes, bins and crates are similar to those for pallets, shown above.

Other wooden packaging

Wood is also used in many other packaging applications, ranging from the familiar cable drums and reels to casks, dunnage and wood ‘wool’ (known as excelsior in the USA) made from fine wooden shavings.

Dunnage are pieces of wood used in various ways – such as bearers and spacers – when packing and packaging containers and other transport vehicles.

All wood packaging delivers the renewable, recyclable and environmental advantages of wood while helping to maximise the value extracted from every log processed.


Timber joinery products offer a classic, unique and stylish touch to any interior or exterior design. The products are produced for a variety of internal applications including door and window frames, cabinetry, skirtings, mouldings and architraves. When looking to the outdoors, joinery products range from decorative eaves and posts to eye-catching railings.

Many timber species are suitable for joinery products and care should be taken in selecting the perfect timber for the particular product and its intended finish. Rare and exotic species such as Teak and Rosewood can generate pieces of outstanding beauty but material cost and availability are also important considerations.

Commercially available species like Tasmanian oak, Australian cypress, spotted gum and the like, often make the more practical choice, with the added benefit that they can be easily matched with other timber products within the building, like flooring.

Solid timber for joinery products is generally supplied as ‘clear finish grade' but ‘paint grade' options are available and these are usually comprised of a composite material like MDF or glulam.

A large number of specialist suppliers and producers offer the consumer extensive choice of profiles for all of the most common and popular joinery products. Choice is in many cases, limited only by imagination.

Cabinetry is often associated with joinery and most typically includes, cupboards, benches and other similar ‘built in' furniture. Like joinery, cabinetry is generally specified as either paint or clear finish grade and naturally for clear finish grade timbers, appearance and surface finish are critical in achieving a successful application.



Whether manufactured from solid or engineered timber, there are many stylish and practical options that won't compromise on strength and structural performance. A distinctive timber door can also create visual impact, adding value to any commercial or domestic building.

Timber makes an attractive choice for door design and construction, offering a strength, flexibility and versatility that other materials find hard to match. 

Protected from moisture, a timber door will perform satisfactorily for the life of any building. With regular maintenance, carefully designed and finished timber doors can perform in the toughest external environment and if required, can be refurbished or updated easily and effectively.

This application guide outlines the common elements involved in specifying and finishing timber internal and external doors.

Panelling, Interior

Internal panelling, also known as appearance boards and linings, is not just a practical means of covering one or more walls and ceilings in a building, its inclusion in a room's interior design can generate looks that are both dramatic and stylish. Internal paneling comes as either solid natural timber paneling or as sheets of engineered wood products that provide a durable and hardwearing surface for areas subject to high impact. As they typically function as appearance products they generally have no structural requirements. This guide describes the variety of panelling products available and outlines the straightforward process of installing them.


Download the WoodSolutions Technical Design Guide on Domestic Timber Decking here.

Timber decks are a practical and attractive addition to any outdoor landscape. Natural timber decks blend seamlessly with their surrounding environment and will serve as popular entertaining areas all year long.

As an external structure, carrying large loads of traffic, timber decking has high structural performance requirements. In addition decks are usually raised clear off the ground and fully exposed to the weather meaning an effective deck must be able to cope with wear and tear from repeated use and in addition discharge rainwater efficiently. Roundin the corners (easing the arris) of the decking will help run off water while spacing for ventilation between the decking boards will prevent water ponding on the deck surface. 

Timber decking is available in both seasoned and unseasoned wood, in a wide range of species, sizes and grades. The natural appeal and strength of timber makes it a practical choice for outdoor decking. This guide provides an overview of best practice methods for specifying, installing and finishing a timber deck.

Architectural Roof Trusses

A truss is a structure comprising one or more triangular units. Each triangle is constructed with straight and usually slender members of timber, connected at the ends by joints. External loads, and the structure's reaction to those loads, act at the joints, resulting in forces that are either tensile or compressive.

The strength of a truss lies in its triangulation of banding members that work together to the advantage of the overall structure. For trusses, compression members often dictate the size of the elements, thus designs that have short compression members or restraint against lateral buckling are generally more efficient than trusses with longer compression members.

Within a building two forms of trusses can be found. Nail plated trusses are trusses hidden from view that use nail plates as connectors. Architectural trusses refer to those attractively detailed timber trusses, exposed to view. This guide focuses primarily on the application process of the latter.

The benefits of timber trusses are notable and numerous. Timber roof trusses are an ecologically sound choice, compared to conventionally pitched roofs, they use smaller dimension timbers that span greater distances and this in turn reduces the total timber volume contained within. Architectural timber trusses are lightweight, enabling speedy and efficient construction and installation that results that in a visual feature to be enjoyed for decades.

This article provides a comprehensive overview to the processes involved in specifying, assembling and installing an architectural roof truss.


Timber mouldings add style, class and an elegant touch to any interior, offering a depth of beauty and warmth in a way only wood can. From period times to those more contemporary, timber mouldings have graced the most stylish and chic of interiors, decorating furniture, doors and windows. Decorative mouldings such as architraves, skirtings, cornices and ceiling roses remain an ever popular choice for designers seeking a finished result of beauty, style and quality. Like all timber products, mouldings are extremely versatile and durable, enhancing the aesthetics of any interior and functioning as the perfect finishing touch for designs with a focus on beauty and splendour.

Mouldings can be created from any commercially available species of timber and the moisture resistant wood product, MDF, is also a popular choice. When it comes to style and design, the sky is the limit with many suppliers offering custom matching to existing mouldings, as well as efficient supply of those that are individually designed. Installation is a breeze, with the majority of mouldings easily attached with a reputable wood adhesive. Finishes can be tailored by design requirements and the preferences of the end user, with mouldings commonly being both stained and/or painted.

Rails and Balustrades, Interior

The versatility, beauty and strength of timber makes it the ideal material choice for interior handrails and balustrades. Treated softwood and durable hardwoods are the most popular timber choices and these can be turned to create a range of unique styles and designs to suit a variety of tastes and decors.

When used internally balustrades and handrails are typically finished with a clear lacquer to showcase the natural beauty of the timber and with appropriate care and attention will last a lifetime. Find here general information on member sizes, connections and suitable materials, as well as important considerations, for the specification and construction of interior handrails and balustrades.

Stairs, Interior

Interior staircase work is considered a specialised area of carpentry and joinery as its construction requires high levels of workmanship, detail and accuracy. Many interior stairs are built from quality joinery timber, cut and seasoned especially for staircases. Interior stairs differ considerably in design, from simple straight flights, commonly used in domestic work, to more elaborate stairs, constructed purposely as stand out features in public and commercial buildings.

The construction procedure described here applies to most general type stairs of either conventional or contemporary construction.


Lightweight timber construction typically comprises framed and braced structures to which one or more types of cladding are applied. Framing configurations can range from the closely spaced light timbers commonly seen in stud frame construction to large, more widely spaced timbers. A timber framed building can be placed on a concrete slab or on posts/poles or bearers resting on piers/stumps supported on pad footings.

Used in houses or multi-residential dwellings, lightweight timber construction offers the flexibility of a wide range of cost effective design options.

When the timber comes from sustainable sources, this construction method can be environmentally advantageous as it combines timber's low embodied energy with its capacity to store carbon.


Whether for structural or finished flooring applications, timber offers durability, versatility and adaptability. The warmth, strength and natural beauty of timber flooring has proved enduringly popular in a wide variety of interior settings.

Timber flooring is a timeless product, offering a warmth and natural beauty largely unmatched by other flooring options. This article provides an overview of the installation of solid timber strip flooring over bearers and joists, timber based sheet flooring products and concrete slabs. Timber flooring is typically supplied as either solid timber or laminated wood products, made from layers of bonded timber. It fits together with a tongue and groove joint and once in place, is sanded and finished. There is a wide variety of species to select flooring from and the right species for a given application will be dependent on numerous factors. Information relating to species selection, environmental assessment, finish selection and recommended maintenance routines are all provided in this section.

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