Lagarostrobos franklinii


Lagarostrobos franklinii

Tasmanian endemic

A tall, much-branched tree to 35 m with spreading or drooping branches, but rising to a dense pyramidal crown. Leaves very small, closely overlapping and appressed to the branches.
Male cones inconspicuous, terminal, hardly wider than the twigs.
Female cones terminal, very small and loose, made up of 6-10 well-spaced seed-bearing
scales, about 4 mm wide, each with a single seed.
Occurs in rainforests along rivers, on swampy ground and fringing lakes from sea level to montane. From the Pieman River to western edge of the Central Plaeau and south-west to the middle reaches of the Huon River.  (Information courtesy of the Launceston Field Naturalists Club)

The Huon Pine is probably Australia's longest-lived species  The timber is soft, even in structure, durable, fissile, smooth and oily and light in weight, soft and easy to work and takes a high polish.  Traditionally used for boat building as the oil makes it impervious to water damage. Logs which have lain on the ground for for several hundred years have been harvested and milled.

Can a rainforest giant live in a small garden?  Well, yes. Due to its slow growth, it can survive for years as a container plant. Propagation is fairly easy from cuttings or seed. Cuttings produce a tree with attractive "floppy" looking branches, but a straight trunk will develop from seed.  Its needs are semi -shade (protection from relentlessly hot summer sun or drying winds), regular water and an occasional feed from very weak fish fertilizer or slow release pellets.  Quite frost hardy.

An interesting point: the foliage of the Huon pine is light green and soft, but comparison with the Mt Read Huon shows some differences. The foliage of that amazing specimen is more rugged and a slightly darker green in colour.

Contrasting Foliage
Huon pine foliage closeup

Huon Pine

Mt. Read
Huon Pine

Mt. Read huon pine foliage closeup