One of the most important things for Landscaping is Durability. Check out our Learning Centre, and take a look at the Durability page. This explains how durability is measured. We have listed all our Durable and Very Durable timbers in the table below, grouped by colour.It is worth noting that sapwood is not durable at all when talking about the durability we are referring to the heartwood. Occasionally some boards will have a small amount of sap on the edge and this will either need to be removed prior to use or it will eventually rot.
All timber, if left outside un coated, will naturally turn a silvery-grey colour. This is a natural process as the outer layers of the timber cellulose get exposed to the weather.
The timber will also, split, check and warp, but depending on the species this may not be too noticeable. One way to reduce weathering and distorting of timber is to coat it with a protective product, we go into each product in more details on our Coatings page.
One of the main things to consider when trying to decide whether to coat your timber or leave it to weather naturally is, if you are willing to put the effort in to maintain the coating. All exterior coatings will need maintenance on an annual basis (usually just a good clean), and they will require recoating every 6 months to 5 years, depending on the coating and its exposure to the elements.coa
Another buzz word that is becoming more and more common with Landscape Architects is sustainability. Read both our Sustainability and Resource Certification pages in the Learning Centre if you are keen to learn more.
Timbers Suitable for Exterior Use
|Colour ||Timber ||Durability |
|Yellow ||Yellow Cedar ||Very Durable |
|Yellow / Light reddish-brown ||Balau ||Durable |
|Golden yellow / Light brown ||Macrocarpa ||Moderately Durable above ground |
|Golden yellow / Light brown ||Oregon ||Moderately Durable |
|Golden yellow / Light brown ||Totra ||Very Durable |
|Light Pink ||Taun ||Moderately Durable |
|Pink ||Saligna ||Durable above ground |
|Pink / Light brown ||Cedrela ||Durable |
|Light brown ||Sapele Mahogany ||Durable |
|Light brown ||Vitext ||Durable |
|Light brown ||Western Red Cedar ||Durable |
|Straw brown ||Pilularis (Black Butt) ||Durable |
|Medium brown ||Teak ||Very Durable |
|Grey to Reddish/dark brown ||Spotted Gum ||Durable |
|Yellow, fading to Dark brown ||Iroko ||Durable |
|Red, fading to Dark Brown ||Bubinga ||Durable |
|Red/Redish-brown, fading to Dark Brown ||Jarrah ||Durable |
|Red/Redish-brown, fading to Dark Brown ||Padauk ||Durable |
|Red/Redish-brown, fading to Dark Brown ||Rosewood ||Very Durable |
|Red/Redish-brown / Dark Brown ||Kwila ||Durable |
New Zealand grown Radiata Pine modified to the core by a non-toxic, proprietary acetylation process.
A hard and very durable timber with rich reddish-brown color tones, typical uses include heavy construction, general joinery, boat building and other marine applications.
The heartwood is yellowish-brown, brown or dark red, red-brown, turning to a dark red-brown with age. The wood is hard and heavy, the texture is moderately coarse but even and the grain may be straight or interlocked and is often wavy.
A low to medium density softwood, originally from California and introduced to NZ in the mid 1800’s, planted mostly as shelterbelts. The heartwood is moderately durable, and is light golden brown in colour. Typical uses include T&G panelling, exposed beams and rafters, and landscaping applications including large end section pergolas.
Pilularis (Blackbutt) New Zealand
This hardwood is grown in northern NZ, but log supply is limited. Colours are cream to light brown, with little visible grain and medium texture. Some gum vein is present. Mostly used for T&G flooring and stair construction.
The most commonly available timber in New Zealand. Used for a wide variety of purposes because of its affordability and quick maturity. A pale coloured timber with wide distinguishable growth rings.
Saligna (Sydney Blue Gum)
A pale pink to light red coloured hardwood, usually ¼ sawn to improve stability through the drying process, the grain has a moderate to course texture.
Western Red Cedar
A Premium durable timber known for its superior stability, for doors, windows, louvers, exterior cladding, weatherboards, shakes and shingles, nothing performs as well as Western Red Cedar in these situations.
This beautiful yellow timber is more durable and denser than Red Cedar but not as stable. A great alternative for exterior building applications.