Macrocarpa is becoming one of the most important timber trees in New Zealand.
Macrocarpa's natural habitat is Monterey Peninusula in Southern California where it now only occupies a narrow strip five km long, the smallest habitat of any American conifer. Increasingly New Zealand's mainstay exotic timber plus Pinus Radiata also originates from Monterey Peninsula.
Macrocarpa was first planted at Mt Peel Station in South Canterbury in 1864 as farm shelter belts, and small but increasing volumes have been milled annually since 1840. Initial use was mainly in roughsawn form for farm purposes - gates, railings and stock yards, although boat builders were among the first to recognise its wider potential.
As supply has increased, end use has diversified.