This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
This tree grows on dry, stony soils in Canada, Nova Scotia, and the N. United States, reaching 60-70 ft. high, and 15-25 ft. diam. at 5 ft. above ground. The wood weighs 37 lb. per cub. ft.; it is much esteemed in Canada for strength and durability, and, though inferior in these respects to Northern Pine, is preferred by English shipwrights for planks and spars, being soft, pliant, and easily worked. This timber has a reddish-white appearance, with clean, fine grain, much like Memel, but with larger knots. It is small, very solid in the centre, with little sap or pith, tough, elastic, not warping nor splitting, moderately strong, very durable where well ventilated, glues well, and suffers little loss in conversion. Cabinet-makers use it for veneering, and sometimes it is employed for internal house-fittings. Market forms are logs 16-50 ft. long, 10-18 in. sq., 40 cub ft in contents, sized as "large," "mixed," and "building."
This New Zealand wood runs 45 ft. long, and up to 30 in. sq., and is much used in house-framing and carpentry, but is not so well adapted to joinery, as it shrinks irregularly. It weighs 40 lb. a cub. ft. It is an ornamental and useful wood, of red colour, clear-grained, and solid; it is much used for joisting, planking, and general building purposes from Wellington southwards. Its chief drawback is liability to decay under the influence of wet. It is largely employed in the manufacture of furniture, the old wood being handsomely marked like rosewood, but of a lighter brown hue. The best quality comes from the South Island.
This New Zealand timber tree gives wood 40 ft. long and 24-40 in. sq., straight-grained, soft, flexible, warping and shrinking little, and well adapted for flooring and general joinery, though decaying rapidly in damp. Its weight is 30 lb. a cub. ft.; breaking-weight, 620 lb. When grown on dry soil, it is good for the planks of small boats; but when from swamps, it is almost useless. A variety called "yellow pine" is largely sawn in Nelson, and considered to be a durable building timber.
The former species is found from New England to Georgia, the wood being much used for all carpentry, and esteemed for large masts and yards; it is shipped to England from Quebec. The latter is abundant in the Middle States and throughout N. America, reaching 50-60 ft. high and 18 in. diam. It is much used locally for framework: the heartwood is strong and durable; the sapwood is very inferior.