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.
Height, 150 ft., with buttressed trunk 3-7 ft. in diam.; the buttresses 15 ft. thick at the base; wood soft and yellowish, used for small boat planks. A variety of this tree has dark-coloured wood that is very lasting in water, and greatly prized by the natives in making canoes. Grows in the North Island and northern parts of the Middle Island of New Zealand.
A large tree, 50-60 ft. high, trunk 20 ft. in girth. Wood hard, dark olive brown, much used; said to be indestructible tinder all conditions. Grows in the northern parts of the North Island of New Zealand only. It is largely used in the construction of railway waggons, and is said to make excellent furniture, though but little employed in that direction. It splits freely and works easily, and is used wherever durability is essential, as in cart work, bridges, teeth of wheels, and fencing-posts.
The wood of this abundant. Indian tree, particularly in S. India, Burma, and Assam, is used more than any except teak, especially in boatbuilding, and posts, beams and planks in house-building. Its weight is 40 lb. a cub. ft.; cohesive force, 13,000-15,000 lb.; breaking-weight, 640 lb.
This valuable timber tree is found throughout S. India and Burma. Its wood is hard, close-grained, and durable; but it is heavy. not easily worked, and hard to drive nails into. It is much used in bridge-building, posts, piles, and sleepers. Its weight is 58 lb. a cub. ft.; cohesive force, 16,000 lb.; breaking-weight, 800 lb. Called also erool.
This tree is indigenous to New Zealand, giving a hard timber 20-25 ft. long and 12-30 in. sq., very dense and solid, weighing 65 lb. a cub. ft. A valuable cabinet wood; it is of a dark-red colour; splits freely. It has been much used for knees and timbers in ship-building, and would probably answer well for cogs of spur wheels. Grows rarely in the North Island, but is abundant in the South Island, especially on the west coast. In Taranaki it is principally used by mill- and wheelwrights. M. robusta grows 50-60 ft. high, diameter of trunk 4 ft., but the descending roots often form a hollow stem 12 ft. in diam. Timber closely resembles the last-named species, and is equally dense and durable, while it can be obtained of much larger dimensions. It is used for ship-building; but for this purpose is inferior to the pohutukawa. On the tramways of the Thames it has been used for sleepers, which are perfectly sound after 5 years' use. Grows in the North Island; usually found in hilly situations from Cape Colville southwards.
A lofty, slender tree 100 ft. high. Wood handsome, mottled red and brown, used for furniture and shingles, and for fencing, as it splits easily. It is a most valuable veneering wood. Common in the forests of the Northern Island of New Zealand, growing upon the hills in both rich and poor soils.