Identifying Heart Pine?

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Forum topic by Raftermonkey posted 02-27-2011 12:48 AM 11916 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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560 posts in 3090 days

02-27-2011 12:48 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question pine heart pine identification

Hello folks, I recently recieved a coupla boards from a friends mothers estate and am wondering if it is heart pine. The house they came from is around 100 years old. Sorry, I don’t have any pics of it right now, but I’ll try to post some on this thread soon. What are some characteristics I could look for to determine if this is “heart” pine or just really old pine. What I’ve noticed so far is, these boards are as hard as woodpecker lips, they look darker than any other pine I’ve seen (could just be because they’re old) but they have a more reddish tint to them, and the they look to me like they have a tighter grain than the southern yellow pine around here (I could be wrong about the tighter grain, but it looks tighter to me). How else can I identify them?

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

4 replies so far

View McKinneyMike's profile


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#1 posted 02-27-2011 12:54 AM

Very tight growth rings vs “normal pine”. Long Leaf Pine is a much slower growing tree than Ponderosa or Southern Yellow Pine. When cut it has a strong turpentine smell to it also.

-- McKinney Hardwood Lumber --Specializing in exotic and figured hardwood lumber -McKinney, TX

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#2 posted 02-27-2011 12:55 AM

That sounds like heart pine.

-- Doug...

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#3 posted 02-27-2011 12:55 AM

I believe heart pine has a “bold” grain pattern.(I could be wrong)

-- Life is good.

View William's profile


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#4 posted 02-27-2011 03:29 AM

Heart pine does have a pink to reddish tint to it most times. It has a VERY tight grain as compared to any new pine you’ll buy today. Antique heart pine, as most know it, is from trees that were cut over a hundred years ago when pine trees were actually big enough to allow for an entire board to be produced from the tight grained heart of the tree.
A common mistake some make when getting antique heart pine though is the assumption that all hundred year old or older pine is heart pine. This is a marketing strategy that has pulled many people in. A hundred years ago, heart pine was valuable then too, for it’s insect resistant properties. Antique heart pine simply came from the heart of the tree back when there was enough heart to make it worth getting. If you run across antique pine that is light in color, similar to modern lumber, then it is simply antique sap pine, and is no more valuable (maybe even less so) than wood that can be bought at your local big box store.


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