Heart Pine is Antique Wood
Somethings just get better with time. Find out why one-of-a-kind Goodwin heart pine has earned the reputation that it has among architects, designers and homeowners.
Is the wood from the longleaf pine?
Longleaf pine is the best source of antique heart pine. Some companies sell Southern yellow pine, loblolly, shortleaf pine, slash or a combination and call it heart pine. Although they are pine and they have heartwood, antique longleaf pine-especially the river-recovered wood®, is stronger, more durable, more stable and has a richer patina and color.
Is it truly antique? Or how old was the tree when harvested?
The only way to get heartwood is time. According to the USDA Forest Service book “Longleaf Pine”, it takes 200 years for a longleaf pine to become mostly heartwood and to be considered antique. Scientists say any wood from a tree less than 200 years old is “new heart pine.” A 75-year-old tree will average only 30% heart, and even a 130-year-old tree yields wood that is not as hard or rich in color as antique heart pine. U.S. Forest Service specialists report that even a 200-year-old tree will average only 65% heartwood. The Reclaimed Wood Council was formed to apply standards to reclaimed wood in the marketplace. Even though it is no longer active, you can read the standards published in Wikipedia, found here.
Note: Goodwin’s heart pine is from trees 200 to 500 years old.
Alert: “Old-growth” does NOT mean antique. The term is used loosely and often refers to new heart pine.
Is it 100% heartwood?
A tree has two components: heartwood and sapwood. Heartwood is prized because its tight grain means it is stronger and more stable. In other words, more is better. Less heart, which means more sapwood, results in softer wood that can be scratched and dented. Heart wood hardness and strength comes from its resin, and longleaf has more resin than the other 200+ species of pine.
Plus, longleaf heartwood is beautiful. The grain is not your usual oak pattern (found in 75% of homes) and is a rich, red color thanks to the resin. One hundred percent heartwood means the color will be consistent. Even 98 percent heart will have yellow sapwood streaks that produce a strong/obvious color variation.
Alert: Lesser grades can have up to 50 percent sapwood and may still be called heart pine.