Macrocarpa Timber in New Zealand

Macrocarpa Timber in New Zealand



Macrocarpa is one of the most naturally durable exotic softwoods grown in NZ.

Cupressus Macrocarpa

  • Family – Cupressaceae
  • Country of Origin – United States
  • Wood Type – Softwood

Macrocarpa came originally from the peninsular of Point Lobos, near Monterey, in Southern California (also the home of Radiata Pine). It was introduced to New Zealand in the 1860’s and was planted mainly as shelter belts but occasionally as plantations.

Macrocarpa is a low to medium density softwood (485 kg/m3 at 12% moisture content) and has a large amount of heartwood, which is a golden brown honey colour.

Macrocarpa is a moderately stiff, strong timber similar to NZ grown Douglas Fir. It is a difficult timber to kiln dry, with cell collapse and internal checking the main problems.

Macrocarpa clears are very similar to Kauri in character, and it machines and turns well, owing to its fine texture.

Macrocarpa is one of the most naturally durable exotic softwoods grown in New Zealand, and is resistant to insect and borer attack in its sawn form.

Its heartwood is rated moderately durable, which means a 50 x 50 stake will last 10-15 years in the ground. Larger sections will last considerably longer.

Outside and above the ground, Macrocarpa is equivalent to H3 pine in durability. Inside, where the timber is not subject to the elements, it will last virtually indefinitely.

Macrocarpa, when dry, will accept a variety of paints, oils, two pot resins, and varnishes.

Technical Details of Macrocarpa

Density 485 kg/m3 at 12% moisture content (medium density softwood)
Shrinkage from green to 12% moisture content
Tangential Direction 3.3%
Radial Direction 1.6%
Strength Modulus of Rupture at 12% moisture content 74MP
Modulus of Elasticity at 12% moisture content 7.9 Gpa

End Uses for Macrocarpa

Raised planter gardens, pergolas, landscaping, exposed rafters and beams, T & G panelling and sarking, flooring overlays, feature gates and fencing, slabs for kitchens and bar tops, shop fittings, signs, tables, boat building, cabinet making, wood turning and carving, fence battens, stairways and balustrades, laminating, picture framing, tree stakes.

Please refer to our Macrocarpa products page for a list of the Macrocarpa we specialise in.

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