Pine, Radiata

Radiata pine is a softwood whose availability and ease of use make it popular for all kinds of construction and decorative uses.

Other Names

Monterey Pine, Insignis Pine

Botanical Name

Pinus radiata

Common Form
Sawn
Species Type

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.

Shrinkage

Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Tangential :

5.00%

Radial :

3.00%

Unit Movement Tangential:

0.27%

Unit Movement Radial:

0.20%

Strength Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium High

Medium

Reasonably Low

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

S1

S2

S3

S4

S5

S6

S7

Seasoned:

SD1

SD2

SD3

SD4

SD5

SD6

SD7

SD8

Stress Grade

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

Unseasoned:

F8

F7

F5

F4

Seasoned:

F14

F11

F8

F7

F5

Density per Standard

Seasoned:

550kg/m3

Unseasoned:

800kg/m3

Joint Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

J1

J2

J3

J4

J5

J6

Seasoned:

JD1

JD2

JD3

JD4

JD5

JD6

Colour

  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:

42

Modulus of Rupture - Seasoned:

81

Modulus of Elasticity - Unseasoned:

8

Modulus of Elasticity - Seasoned:

10

Maximum Crushing Strength - Unseasoned:

19

Maximum Crushing Strength - Seasoned:

42

Impact - Unseasoned:

12

Impact - Seasoned:

6.9

Toughness - Unseasoned:

Medium - 15 - 24 Nm

Toughness - Seasoned:

Low - up to 15 Nm

Hardness - Unseasoned:

2.1

Hardness - Seasoned:

3.3

Durability

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

In-Ground:

(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
Number:

Group Number - Other:

3 (same for plywood ≥6mm)

Average Specific Extinction Area:

<250

Bushfire Resistance:

BAL 12.5 and 19 - All AS 3959 Required Applications
Appearance

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.

 

 

Workability

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
Europe
USA (California), Mexico, Extensive in NZ, Australia, Chile, South Africa, Spain
Readily Available
National
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.
Source of timber
Plantation
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