Rimu is one of the most popular of our native timbers. Because it was used extensively in older character homes as both a structural and finishing timber, it is probably New Zealand’s best known native species. Rimu has been proven as a remarkably versatile and exceptionally beautiful timber. Good supplies of recycled rimu are available from a range of suppliers and demolition timber yards. Rimu timber can also be sourced from sustainably managed forests.
All New Zealand indigenous timbers are now sourced from privately owned forests.
These forests are required to be managed to exacting standards under detailed long-term sustainable management plans.
Every forest managed for timber on a sustainable basis has its own individual Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry approved Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Plan or SFM Permit.
All plans and permits are approved and registered under the relevant sustainable forest management provisions of New Zealand law, being Part 3A of the Forests Act 1949 (amended in 1993 to bring an end to unsustainable harvesting and clear felling of indigenous forest) and the Resource Management Act 1991.
Rimu is a common species in New Zealand. It grows in nearly every major indigenous forested area, where it is often the most dominant or co-dominant species, with the exception of beech forests.
Botanical name: Dacrydium cupressinum
Other common names:
Rimu, red pine
View the mechanical properties for rimu under the performance category below.
Rimu has moderate durability, with the heartwood (Class 3) being more durable than the sapwood (Class 4).
Rimu takes coatings well and is easily glued and finished.
Rimu is an excellent finishing timber, it turns well and allows a high-class finish.
The heartwood timber varies in colour from a dark reddish to yellowish brown, with irregular streaks. The sapwood is a uniform pale brown.
The heartwood timber varies in colour from dark reddish to yellowish brown, with irregular streaks that give it its unique rich toning and attractive appearance. The sapwood is a uniform pale brown.
The heartwood and sapwood zones are separated by a drier intermediate band. This is a transition zone containing a progressively lower proportion of heartwood content as it moves further away from the centre of the tree.
The wood in this zone is a pale biscuit-brown colour, more even toned and slightly darker than the sapwood. Despite this transition, the timber from this zone is usually classed as sapwood because of its lower colouring distinction when dry.
Both heartwood and sapwood have a high moisture content in the freshly sawn state. Heartwood has between 90–130 percent moisture content, sapwood up to 140 percent, while the drier intermediate zone has around 60 percent.
Rimu timber has barely discernible growth rings, averaging 14 per centimetre. The heartwood is highly decorative with a close, even texture, and is harder than the sapwood and very stable.