Pine : a popular and versatile timber

Sunday afternoons spent doing family puzzles on the lounge floor. Comforting Buster in his kennel on a stormy night. Some of life’s most important moments are made possible by Pine.

Pine has endured as a first-choice timber for many different things from furniture to flooring; packaging material to picture frames; soaking up spills to soft and warm bedding for farm animals and pets. This popular timber has become a staple in South Africa.

An enduring timber: Although not indigenous to South Africa, Pine is now cultivated in numerous parts of the country. This wood was introduced to South Africa by Cape Huguenot settlers in the late 1600s, and although they did not grow Pine commercially, by 1780 the species was prolific. It was due to the ever-growing Settler populations in the Cape along with the increasing demand for wood, that the first commercial Pine plantation was established in Genadendal in 1825. Pine has been grown in South Africa for so many centuries that it is now a naturalised species and makes up the bulk of the wood grown commercially in South African forest plantations.

Ideal for a range of applications: Much of Pine’s appeal is due to its versatility; and its inherent properties make it suitable for a range of applications. With a high degree of stiffness, low bending tendency and good shock resistance, Pine is used in construction, joinery, cabinetry, furniture and flooring. This variety is very well suited to warmer climates, like KwaZulu-Natal’s, because it shrinks and swells very little. As such a versatile wood, you may find that most of your home furniture is made from Pine. Pine also plays an important role in the agricultural industry. Wood shavings made from Pine provide comfortable, hygienic and non-toxic bedding for animals such as chickens and horses. Part of Pine’s appeal for use as animal bedding is that it is non-toxic and poses no risk to the health of the animals.

Sustainable and economical: The bulk of South Africa’s forest plantations grow Pine, which means that the supply is steady and the price remains comparatively cheap. Pine is a fast-growing and predominant species in South Africa. As a renewable timber, it is cost-effective to cultivate and harvest. From a sustainability perspective, South Africa’s forest plantations only consume about 3% of the country’s water resource, most of which comes from rainfall as opposed to irrigation often used in commercial agriculture. It is also Pine’s sustainability that helps to keep its price competitive.

Along with the market demand, Pine’s versatile nature has helped it to remain a desirable choice for many different things. Pine continues to provide the physical structure to many of life’s everyday essentials like beds, desks, doors and packaging and also is a crucial aid to our agricultural industries as the most widely-used choice for animal bedding