Norfolk Pine (Araucaria heterophylla sometimes A. excelsa) and Cook Pine (Araucaria columnaris) are trees in the ancient and now disjointly distributed conifer family Araucariaceae.
As its vernacular name Norfolk Island pine (or Norfolk pine) implies, the tree is endemic to Norfolk Island, a small island in the Pacific Ocean between New Zealand and New Caledonia, less than 1000 miles east of Sydney, Australia.
Araucaria were distributed world wide during the Jurassic period, some evidence suggests that the long necks of sauropod dinosaurs may have evolved specifically to browse the foliage of Araucaria. An analysis of modern Araucaria leaves found that they have a high energy content but are slow fermenting, likely making their ancestors an attractive meal.
In the late 1950s a trial shipment of Norfolk pine logs was sent to plywood manufacturers in Sydney, Australia, with hopes to develop a timber export industry on Norfolk Island. Although the plywood companies reported excellent results, the industry was deemed not sustainable by the Norfolk Island Advisory Council, who decided to reserve timber production for local use. The timber is good for woodturning and together with the similar Cook pine is extensively used by Hawaii artisans.
The wood has classic true pinus pine colors, off white to yellow straight grain with small red-brown knots. In rare cases the wood can have a low hertz invisible curl, and in even more rare cases the curl is made visible by blue stain spalting from a suspected Chlorociboria species fungus.
Janka Hardness: 650 lbf (2,890 N)
Average Dried Weight: 31 lbs/ft3 (495 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity: .5
Norfolk or Cook Pine (Araucaria sp.) wood, spalted by a mix of fungi. The blue staining is likely from Chlorociboria.