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If Timber Trees Were Cars: A ready reckoner for quick reference.


If Cryptomeria japonicas were a car they'd be a V8 Range Rover; good in almost all terrain and weather, fast and tough, a high quality product. Well proven on the farm, and maybe a bit posh, but up for anything.

Pinus radiata, by contrast, would be a drag racer made from a 1928 Model T Ford; fast as hell, pretty dependable off road, but lacking finesse, could catch fire, unstable in high winds, prone to rust and fungus, out of date, clunky, hard to manage, and in the end, an expensive liability.

Redwood is a Jaguar XJS. Great, classic looks. The flashy sportster. A high prestige achiever, fast, and tough. but also a classy primadonna used to the finest treatment and the best food, and demanding the best position. Everything has to be just so for this tree to work well.

Macrocarpa is a 2.8 diesel Toyota Hilux, they are everywhere you go up the rural roads. Tough and grunty on most terrain, but they will freeze up in the mountain snow and can be prone to rust . However they should do the job on the back blocks for thirty years.The modest achiever.

Lawson cypress is the Land Rover of timber trees. A trusty, reliable farm favourite, it goes ok on the flat or on the hillside, and runs on the whiff of an oily rag without too much attention. A bit old school and slow, can get rust in the chassis.

Lusitanica is a Subaru Outback, popular, modern, reliable in the mountains and off road, good in winter, needs some looking after, but dependable and fun. However they do all look the same... and there may end up being too many of them around. Could be the next Model T Ford.

Oak is a polished shiny black Mercedes SUV! Top of its class, solid, high quality wood, dependable and long lived, good in high winds and trouble-free for 50 years straight.

Just as with cars, if you look after trees and keep up the maintenance, they will go well for years, given the right job for the right place. Leave them without attention or fuel and they may fall by the wayside. And the classics never go out of fashion.

Keep up the maintenance!

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