The term Pine refers to a large genus pool, where many different species are all referred to as Pine. It is native to the northern hemisphere, with colouring usually being a pale yellow.
- Whilst there are many different kinds, Pine woods tend to be slightly durable and very affordable. (ref)
- A fast growing tree, (ref) meaning that it can be replaced quickly and is more sustainable than slower growing woods.
- Most Pine in the UK is FSC certified. (ref) Meaning most Pines are more environmentally sustainable in the UK.
- The EU phased out and prohibited the use of CCA (chrominated copper arsenate) for treating wood, ensuring woods in the UK will not have these chemicals, other, less toxic chemicals are used in the EU. (ref)
- It can be locally sourced in the UK, reducing the amount of energy and CO2 used to transport the wood.
- It is not endangered. (ref)
- Pine woods need to be treated, a process that is hard to find data on, pressure is used to embody chemicals into the wood, ensuring it resists weathering and pests etc. However, sometimes these chemicals can leak, causing issues for the rest of your garden. (ref)
- Sourcing Pine can be difficult as it may have been illegally logged. (ref)
- Because it is treated, the wood can obtain a green hue. (ref)
- Disposal for Pine that has been treated is different than other woods as it cannot be burned, the chemicals in the wood will be released into the air. (ref)
- The wood being treated will use energy, however, the exactly how much is unclear, we were unable to find data on the exact amount. As different companies use different techniques for drying and pressure treating, looking at Pine becomes difficult, some may use a kiln dryer, which isn’t very sustainable, but some companies tackle this by using renewable energy. The issue with this wood is that it is so diverse, many species and many ways it can be treated meaning a blanket overview isn’t effective. If you’re wanting to use Pine, you need to examine the supply chain carefully, where is the wood sourced, where is it treated and by who, is the wood more or less sustainable than other companies. These are all question to consider.
The wood is a slightly durable wood. It is fast growing in nature meaning it can be harvested quickly, providing profits for plantation and forest owners but also ensuring there is a sustainable supply of timber to meet the demand in the future. Along with this, Pine can be sourced from the UK, which reduces its carbon footprint and FSC certification can help create a beneficial sustainability plan. Most of the Pine in the UK is third party certified, but whilst there are many benefits of Pine for use in gardens, to prevent early decay, the wood needs to be treated, and this becomes a complex issue as different companies and manufacturers use different chemicals and kiln drying techniques which can pollute the environment, through chemical leaching or through the fossil fuels needed to be burnt to heat kilns. The sustainability of Pine is, therefore, hard to determine as the processes used in its creation can range in their environmental impact between companies. It is worth noting some varieties of Pine are stronger, and will not need to be treated or treated less, such as Douglas-fir. Cedar wood could be an alternate to Pine.