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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 68

Description of the Principal Kinds of Timber Exhibited in the Midland Railway Court

Description of the Principal Kinds of Timber Exhibited in the Midland Railway Court.

Red Pine, Rimu (Dacrydium Cupressinum).—Frequently attains a height of 100 feet, with a trunk of 60 feet free of branches. Diameter, 2 feet to 4 feet and sometimes 5 feet. It is of a deep red colour, well grained and handsomely figured. In strength nearly equal to English Oak. It is largely used for general building purposes and owing to its fine figure, is especially suitable for mantelpieces, panel work office fittings, cabinet work, and the manufacture of furniture of all degrees of excellence.

White Pine, Kahikatea (Podocarpus Dacrydioides).—Height, 60 feet to 100 feet and frequently up to 130 feet, with trunk 70 feet or 80 feet free of branches. [unclear: cter]. 1 foot to 4 feet and sometimes 5 feet. The timber is firm, compact, [unclear: gh] strong straight in the grain, and of fairly even texture. The growth being [unclear: d] it is easily seasoned, and it is very durable except in damp situations. It makes very superior flooring, lining, shelving, framing of houses, studs, and other inside [unclear: rk] it is also largely used for all kinds of boxes and packing cases, and is much Superior to Baltic white Deal for general purposes. Like the Red Pine it grows in great abundance, and can be brought to market at exceedingly low prices.

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Black Pine, Maitai (Podocarpus Spicata).—Attains a height of 80 feet, with a trunk 35 feet in length and from 2 feet to 4 feet in diameter. The timber is of great value on account of its smooth even texture, strength, and extreme durability. [unclear: It] is heavy and close grained, but easy to work, and is extensively used for bridges and constructive works generally, house blocks, framing, joists, weather-boards, [unclear: sleep] piles, &c. House blocks and fencing posts have been found in excellent condition after being down for 15 or 20 years or more; it is also now becoming much used for cabinet work, and looks very handsome when polished. This must not [unclear: be] founded with Miro, sometimes termed Black Pine, which is a much inferior Wood

Silver or Westland Pine, Manoao (Dacrydium Westlandicum).—Height, 40 feet to 50 feet. Trunk from feet to 2½ feet in diameter, sometimes reaching 3 feet and even 4 feet. Although not of so large dimensions as the other pines, this [unclear: is] of the most valuable timbers in the Colony owing to its extreme durability. It is straight and even in the grain, dense, firm and compact, of great strength, [unclear: tough] and elasticity, is highly resinous and shrinks but little while seasoning. It is suitable lor bridges, wharves, and constructive works, and is used with best results for piles and sleepers, being almost imperishable. As it is often handsomely figured and mottled, it is much used for furniture, cabinetmaking, veneers, and [unclear: ornam] purposes generally.

Yellow Pine (Dacrydium Intermedium).—Height, 40 feet. Trunk from 1 feet to 2 feet in diameter. The timber is of a reddish yellow, resinous, straight in the grain, firm, compact, and, though smaller in dimensions than the Westland Pine a also extremely durable and may be applied to the same purposes.

Red Birch (Fagus Fusca).—Sometimes upwards of 100 feet in height with trunk 2 feet to 4 feet in diameter. The wood is straight, even, and compact in the grain of great strength and toughness, and very durable. It is highly valued for [unclear: sleep] wharves, bridges, house blocks, framing, joists, weatherboarding, fence posts, &c., and being easily worked might be used for joiners' work. Well grown trees split [unclear: rea] and might be extensively substituted for Tasmanian palings.

Black Birch (Fagus Solandri).—Height, 60 feet to 80 feet and sometimes 100 feet, with trunk 50 feet free of branches. Diameter, 2 feet to 4 feet or more, The wood is tough, strong, and, if properly selected, very durable. It is of a pale red or greyish colour and sometimes handsomely figured; the heartwood is black and irregular in outline. It is largely used for bridges, sleepers, fencing and gate [unclear: pe] &c. Owing to its great strength it will carry enormous weights.

Totara (Podocarpus Totara).—Height 50 to 60 feet and sometimes even [unclear: as] as 100 feet, with trunk 2 feet to 6 feet in diameter, 35 feet and occasionally up to 60 feet free of branches. The wood is of a deep red colour, is clean, straight in the grain, compact, and of great durability, it is well adapted for all architectural engineering purposes, and is one of the best timbers in the Colony for telegraph poles. For marine piles it is unrivalled as it resists the teredo, and is Superior to Australain jarrah. Occasionally handsome mottled specimens are found, which [unclear: an] valuable for veneers and ornamental work.

Rata (Metrosideros Lucida).—Height 30 to 60 feet, with trunk 2 feet to 6 feet in diameter. The wood is heavy, compact, tough, and of great strength. It is largely used in shipbuilding—knees, crooks and timbers, of all sizes being readily obtainable also used for trenails, for the teeth of geared wheels, and for the framing of railway waggons, with the best results. As a substitute for hickory in the manufacture [unclear: of] vehicles for wheel rims, shafts, &c., Rata promises to become exceptionally useful, [unclear: as] it is capable of being readily bent under steam.

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Cedar, Kawaka, (Libocedrus Bidwillii).—Height 50 feet to 70 feet, with a trunk 1½ to 2½ feet in diameter. The wood is of a red colour, remarkably straight in the grain is very light and somewhat brittle. It is of great durability in all situations, but is net strong being indeed one of the weakest of New Zealand timbers; it appears, however, to surpass Totara in durability and may be used for the purposes for which Totara is usually employed, except where great strength is required. It has been used for piles, house blocks, fencing posts, sleepers, weather-boards, &c. it closely resembles Californian Red Wood, and appears in every way suitable for the Manufacture of Venetian Blinds, for which purpose that timber is usually imported, while it can be supplied at a fraction of the cost.

Black Maire (Olea Cunninghamii).—Height 50 feet to 70 feet, trunk 3 feet to 6 feet in diameter. For combined strength and durability this is perhaps the most valuable of all New Zealand timbers. The wood is deep brown, the heartwood being often streaked with black, and highly ornamental. It is dense, heavy, compact straight and even in the grain, easily worked and takes a good finish. It is valuable for the framing of railway carriages and waggons, as a substitute for [unclear: etal] bearings for heavy shafts, framing of machinery, agricultural implements, &c. Old specimens are often beautifully streaked and figured, and are used for veneers and ornamental turned work, as napkin rings, bowls, egg cups, &c.

[unclear: Honeysuckle], Rewarewa, (Knightia Excelsa).—Attains a height of from 70 feet to 100 feet with a trunk 1½ to 3 feet in diameter. It is an ornamental timber of great strength, but not very durable when exposed, is usually of a deep red colour, straight in the grain, and beautifully mottled. It is highly valued for all inlaid work, tables, writing desks, &c., as well as for all kinds of ornamental turnery.

Hinau (Elæocarpus Dentatus).—Height 40 feet to 50 feet. Diameter of trunk 1 feet to 3 feet. The timber is of a light, dull brown colour, the heartwood darker, often nearly black. It is tough, strong, and durable, and is used for bridges, culverts, sleepers, piles, survey pegs, &c, with good results.

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Printed at the "Lyttelton Times" Office, Gloucester, Street Christchurch.