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Species – Cypress

Species Information - Cypress

Species Information

The cypress tree – or, formally, Taxodium distichum – is a deciduous conifer that grows in Southeastern US, as well as in the Gulf Coastal Plains. Cypress is known as a softwood, but grows alongside hardwood and is grouped and manufactured with other hardwoods.

The cypress tree can grow upwards of 40 meters with a trunk that typically reaches a diameter of 2- 3 meters. It gets the name “bald” often because, unlike most other trees in its family Cupressaceae, the cypress loses its leaves during colder months (making it deciduous).

The bald cypress is valued for its water resistance, and has earned the name “wood eternal,” which of course makes it a well-liked wood for many uses, including flooring.

Cypress roots love water. Oftentimes, trees that grow on wet sites will develop what’s known as cypress “knees” (pneumatophores). These growths come from the roots, and help support the tree as well also aerate the root system. The wood from these knees is soft and used to make vases and other novelty items.

Scientific Names

Origin

The cypress tree is found in the southern regions of the United States. However, cultivation of the tree has been successful in even northern regions, such as Southern Canada and Europe. But the cypress tree requires hot summers for the most productive growth. For example, some trees planted in northeastern England (with a cool summer) have only reached 4 – 5 meters tall in 50 years of growth.

Crossover Names

Cypress is known and referred to by many names, including (but not excluded to): Bald Cypress; Baldcypress; Bald-cypress; Southern cypress; White cypress; Tidewater red-cypress; Gulf-cypress; Red cypress; Swamp cypress.

Janka Rating

The Janka rating for cypress is 570.

Cypress Janka Scale Rating 570

*The Janka rating measures the resistance of a sample of wood to denting and wear. Click Here for more info.

Appearance

The coloring for cypress tends to be light, yellowish brown. The sapwood is a pale yellow white, while the heartwood varies in color from light to dark, reddish brown. Some cypress boards are known to have scattered pockets of dark wood. These patches of darkness represent areas that were attacked by fungi, and are sometimes referred to as pecky cypress.

Cypress features straight grain and medium to coarse texture. Unfinished surfaces give off a greasy feel.

The oils found naturally in the heartwood make cypress one of the most durable woods when exposed to wet conditions that otherwise cause decay in other woods.

Workability

When working with cypress, it’s recommended that you use sharp cutters and light passes to avoid tearout. Tension wood can be present and can cause a fuzzy surface when cut. Cypress has good gluing, nailing and finishing properties, and is known to hold paint well.

CLICK HERE to view all of our hardwood flooring.

Click below for a detailed discription of the different species of hardwood.

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