Species in focus: Huon pine

G Magazine

Huon pine


Credit: iStockphoto

- Advertisement -

One of the slowest-growing, and longest-living plants in the world, the Huon pine (Lagarostrobos Franklinii), is only found in western Tasmania. The first record of this species dates back 135 million years.

The timber is prized for its golden colour and durability, and because of its unique ability to float when still green, in the 1820s hundreds of trees were floated down the Franklin and Gordon Rivers and collected to make furniture. More recently, a strand of genetically identical trees was discovered, with a base root over 10,000 years old.

While Huon pines are now protected and can’t be chopped down, it’s legal to harvest timber lying on the forest floor or buried in river beds.

In 2008, there were allegations of corruption in the Huon pine extraction industry, so look for products that have been certified by an independent third party.

Visitors can the Huon Pine at the spectacular Tahune Forest Walk, just 20 minutes South of Hobart in Tasmania.