Huon Pine

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

 
This is the tag line from HounPine.com and if it's online it must be true, right? Well with a growth rate of 1mm per year it could be said that the wood for this boat has been 12,000 years in the making. So yes waiting has certainly taken place, mostly by prehistoric man, Ancient Egyptians, Dodo's (bad luck) and many other cliche historic lifeforms.

Ironic then that a wood which can tell the story of life on Earth over the past few millennia within it's beautifully concise rings can near extinction within a few decades of modern man finding out they can make lovely boats and occasional tables out of it.

Luckly for Lagarostrobos Franklinii or Huon Pine for those of us who can't speak tree, the Australian Forestry Commission declared it a protected species in 1981 and logging became severely restricted to mostly salvage from forrest floor and river beds.

 

Okay so you have to wait for it, we get it, now tell me what's good about it. Alright I will. Beginning with an interesting fact. The unique oil (methyl eugenol) that permeates the wood making it virtually rot proof has also been used for dressing wounds, treating toothache, as a paint preservative and insecticide. Sounds like an interesting day out. But it's the combination of being a lightweight, easy to carve, stable wood that isn't prone to shrinking that makes it really good.

If all that doesn't excite you maybe another interesting fact will, namely that all trees are genetically identical males that reproduce vegetatively. So basically the tree we see now, let's call it Adam, is just a clone of itself.

 

Now personally I never knew trees had a gender, it's not something I think about all that often to be fair, but being the producer of the finest construction wood known to man and one of the most perfectly formed organisms on the planet it seems clear to me this is one tree that wasn't distracted by the apple.

Print Print | Sitemap
© Elliott Hopkins