Wood common name: Antique Heart Pine; also call
original-growth and other terms.
Wood species: Longleaf Heart Pine (Pinus palustris)
Age: 200 to 500 years and older
Brief historical information: About 90 million acres
of longleaf heart pine once covered the coastal Southeast,
but was clear cut by hand in the 18th and 19th centuries to
build Industrial America. It is often seen in old factories,
wharves, Victorian palaces, bridges like the Brooklyn Bridge,
and homes including Mount Vernon and Monticello. The few remaining
stands of longleaf are protected today, thus it is only available
from old buildings or river reclaimed logs. The wood was highly
prized for it strength, durability and beauty.
Heartwood content: 100 percent
Grain pattern: Pin stripe grains with arching grains
Knot content: rare, pin knots up to ½”
Growth rings: At least 8 per inch; up to 30
Color: typically rich red
Nail holes: some in building reclaimed; none in
Widths available: typically up to 10” in flooring
and up to 12” in lumber
Other characteristics: Very strong, stable and hard.
1225 on the Janka scale. Comparable to red oak but 29% more
Comments: The longleaf grows only
one inch in diameter every thirty years, but a tree less than
200 years old is considered “new heart pine.”
A 75-year-old tree will average only 30% heart, and even a
130-year-old tree yields wood that is not as hard or rich
in color as antique heart pine. “Old-growth” does
not mean it is antique. The term is used loosely and often
refers to new heart pine.
HEART PINE DEFINITIONS