Cypress is a beautiful, straight grained, light colored wood with a wonderful fragrance that is very durable. With its legendary hardiness and durability, cypress also works well outside the home, including siding, trim, decks, fences, shutters, window boxes, and landscape design elements. When milled, cypress typically displays a predominantly yellow tone, with reddish, chocolate, or olive hues. Noted for its color consistency, density, imperviousness to insects, and relative lack of knots, cypress is superbly workable, easily machined and installed, and readily finished.
Where does cypress come from?
In the United States, most cypress trees are natives of the south. They are found primarily in wet, swampy areas along the Atlantic coastal plain from Delaware to Florida, and west along the Gulf of Mexico to the border of Texas and Mexico. Cypress also thrives along the Mississippi valley from the Louisiana Delta to
southern Indiana. While cypress has always been the architectural choice in the south and east, many builders and trade professionals throughout the U.S. are using cypress in what had traditionally been cedar, redwood, and treated pine applications.
How much cypress is grown in the United States?
Annual cypress production is about 100-120 million board feet (about 6000-7000 truckloads). It is generally believed that cypress trees are growing at a faster rate than they're being harvested. Cypress is a renewable and regenerative species that grows back in the original stump. The cypress we use is cut from
second growth trees, protecting the old growth trees.
Is Cypress easy to work with?
Cypress works well with both hand and power tools. The wood planes easily and resists warping. Although cypress is resinous, the resin (called cypressene) isn't a sticky sap like other woods. It glues well, sands easily and readily accepts finishes.
Is cypress durable?
Cypress has a natural preservative oil known as cypressene which gives the heartwood resistance to insects and decay. With a suitable surface treatment, cypress generally has a superior durability, holding paint well and resisting weather. Because of its natural resistance to decay, no treating of the wood is necessary. This means no added chemicals that may be harmful to the environment and people. Due to its natural moisture retention, Cypress fence boards will preserve the original fence configuration much longer than other types of fence boards. The boards we use are dipped in moldicide to retard molding and end waxed to prevent splits and checks before they leave the mill.
How does cypress compare with pine and cedar?
Cypress grows slowly, so the rings are much closer than in most wood species. These close rings tend to make cypress more energy efficient, and decreased shrinkage makes it more durable and stable. In its natural state, the wood is a pale honey color and unsealed, weathers to an even gray on the surface. The
natural color can easily be restored if desired. Pine grows quickly, which results in a wider banding, more porous substance. This means treatment is required to prevent rot and insect attack. The common treatment is the pressure treated "green" pine, which is treated with CCA (copper chromate arsenic). Arsenic is a cancer-causing agent. This porous wood stains through the face and with treatment becomes somewhat darker. Untreated material will stain deep toward the core, leaving permanent marks and becoming subject to mold and rot. For this reason, natural weathering is not recommended. For this reason, weathering is
not recommended. Cedar is a darker wood with heavy odor. (Check for allergy sensitivity.) A lighter and porous wood, it weathers and absorbs treatment, resulting in darker tones. Knots tend to be loosened after time. The boards we use are produced to compete directly with Western Red Cedar products a
substantially lower price.
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