Pine, Caribbean (Pinus caribaea)

Pine, Caribbean is an imported softwood


Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea) occurs along the Caribbean side of Central America from Belize to northeastern Nicaragua. It is also native to the Bahamas and Cuba. This low-elevation tree is widely introduced as a plantation species throughout the world tropics.


The heartwood is golden- to red-brown and distinct from the sapwood, which is light yellow and roughly 2 to 5 cm (1 to 2 in.) wide. This softwood species has a strong resinous odor and a greasy feel. The weight varies considerably and may range from 416 to 817 kg/m3 (26 to 51 lb/ft3) at 12% moisture content. Caribbean pine may be appreciably heavier than slash pine (P. elliottii), but the mechanical properties of these two species are rather similar. The lumber can be kiln dried satisfactorily. Caribbean pine is easy to work in all machining operations, but its high resin content may cause resin to accumulate on the equipment. Durability and resistance to insect attack vary with resin content; in general, the heartwood is rated as moderately durable. The sapwood is highly permeable and is easily treated by open tank or pressure- vacuum systems. The heartwood is rated as moderately resistant to preservative treatment, depending on resin content.

Primary Uses

Caribbean pine is used for the same purposes as are the southern pines (Pinus spp.).

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.