Radiata Pine

Radiata Pine is a very versatile timber and suitable for a wide range of end-use applications.

90 %

Of tree species grown in plantations in New Zealand are Radiata Pine.

Short Facts:

  • versatile and easily available
  • fast-growing
  • medium-density softwood
  • suitable for a wide range of uses

Botanical name:

Pinus radiata

Other common names: 

Pinus insignis, Monterey Pine, New Zealand Pine


  • Planting Radiata Pine can be profitable for New Zealand woodlot owners even in small quantities.
  • Trees are able to adapt to different site conditions and respond well to silviculture treatments.
  • Soil that has been previously used for farming can rehabilitate through pine plantings. These soil conditions improve even more with subsequent rotations.
  • Radiata pine is suitable for a wide variety of end-use applications and can be easily processed, dried and treated.

Harvest Age:

28 years


  • Heartwood - even light brown to chestnut brown
  • Sapwood - creamy white


Planting Radiata Pine is best spaced out at 4 square meters in plantations. It will grow on a wide range of landscapes, from flat to moderately steep hills.


Radiata pine does not begin to form its heartwood until 15 years of age and is forming it at about one ring every two years. Most of the wood from the harvested pine is easy-to-dry and easy-to-treat sapwood, which is an advantage over many other species.


Most pruning and thinning is needed within the first 12–15 years, after that the remaining trees are left to grow until harvest. Radiata pine is pruned in three lifts, with the lower two-thirds of a mature tree free of branches and hence of knots.