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.
An erect and thickly branched bush tree, 50-60 ft. high; trunk 3-10 ft. diam. Wood splits freely, and is valuable for fencing and in shipbuilding; some portions make handsome veneers. Grows chiefly in the South Island of New Zealand and near the coasts.
This is a Jamaica tree, growing 60 ft high to the main branches, and 3 1/2-5 ft. diam. It is used for timbers, boards, shingles, and staves. Its weight is 48 lb. a cub. ft.; crushing-force, 7500 lb.; breaking-weight, 750 lb.
This tree is found in the W. Indie3 and Central America. Its wood is very hard and durable, and fitted for most outside work; it is used principally for posts, sills, and rafters. It warps much in seasoning, splits easily, becomes slippery if used as flooring, and is very liable to attacks of sea-worms. Its weight is 65i lb. a cub. ft.; crushing-force, 14,330 lb.
Bunya-bunya (Araucaria Bidwillii) grows to the height of 100-200 ft., and attains a diameter of 30-48 in. This noble tree inhabits the scrubs in the district between the Brisbane and the Burnett rivers, Queensland, and in the 27th parallel it extends over a tract of country about 30 miles in length and 12 in breadth. The timber is strong and good, and full of beautiful veins, works with facility, and takes a high polish.
This tree is a native of Australia, where it has been almost exterminated, the timber being found so useful in house-building (for joinery, doors, and sashes) and boat-building. Its weight is 35 lb. a cub. ft.; breaking-weight, 471 lb.
This species is a native of the Bermudas and Bahamas. Its wood much resembles that of Virginian Cedar, and is used for similar purposes, as well as for ship-building. It is extremely durable when ventilated and freed from sapwood. It lasts 150- 200 years in houses, and 40 years as outside ship-planking. It is difficult to get above 8 in. sq. Its weight is 46-47 lb. a cub. ft.
This evergreen tree is a native of Syria, and probably Candia and Algeria. The trunk reaches 50 ft. high and 34-39 in. diam. The wood is said to be very durable, and to have been formerly extensively used in the construction of temples. It is straight-grained, easily worked, readily splits, and is not liable to worm. Its weight is 30-38 lb. a cub. ft.; cohesive force, 7400 lb. a sq. in.; strength, 02; stiffness, 28; toughness, 106.
Of the species, the former, the kawaka of the natives, is a fine timber tree 60-100 ft. high, yielding heavy fine-grained wood, useful in fencing, house-blocks, piles, and sleepers. It weighs 30 lb. a cub. ft.; breaking-weight, 400 lb. The wood runs 3 to 5 ft. in diameter, and is reddish in colour; it is used by the Maoris for carving, and is said to be excellent for planks and spars. The second species, called paliantea by the natives, reaches 60 to SO ft. high and 2 to 3 ft. in diameter. In Otago it produces a dark-red free-working timber, rather brittle, chiefly adapted for inside work. The timber has been used for sleepers on the Otago railways of late years, and is largely employed for fencing purposes, being frequently mistaken for Totara.