Types Of Pine

Trees are divided into two groups: deciduous and evergreen (including coniferous trees). The former shed their leaves in winter while the latter do not. Coniferous trees are also categorized as 'softwood'. This refers to a botanical classifi

FIG 2.1

Warping tendencies of planks cut from different aged trees. _____

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Extreme growth ring pattern in plank.

Plank cut away from centre of tree.

Minimal growth ring pattern in plank.

Large diameter, older tree.

cation rather than the working properties of the timber, as some softwoods, for example yew, are harder than some deciduous 'hardwoods'.

Pine is a generic name which covers a variety of coniferous trees including different types of spruce, fir, pine and larch. Generally found in temperate northern forests, all these grow relatively fast, tall and straight and are sustainable, making

Small diameter, younger tree.

Plank cut across centre of tree.

Small diameter, younger tree.

Plank cut away from centre of tree.

Minimal growth ring pattern in plank.

Large diameter, older tree.

them ideal for the timber industry.

When choosing pine to make furniture, the type of wood you are offered will depend to some extent on where you are. In the UK it will probably be spruce, possibly from one of the Scandinavian countries, which is usually pale blonde in colour with slightly darker rings and dark-coloured knots. Some types of pine have more knot-free areas than others, while the age of the tree when it was felled also has a bearing on the quality of the timber.

Old trees are bigger trees. Most low-grade pine is from small diameter trees, about 8-10in (203-254mm). This gives rise to several problems. First, the branches of small trees are closely spaced down the trunk -approximately 12in (305mm) apart — so the knots are closely spaced. In big trees, where the branches are a long way apart, there are large areas of knot-free timber. Second, to saw a 6in (152mm) wide plank from an 8in (203mm) wide tree trunk, the cut must be across the centre of the tree, which means that it is more likely to warp (see Fig 2.1). The same size plank from a large tree has a less extreme growth ring pattern so it is less prone to warping.

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Responses

  • fedro
    What type of pine for furniture?
    2 years ago

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