Cypress Wood and its 9 fascinating Uses

Cypress Tress Along River
Cypress Tress Along River

From caskets to bridges, boats to stadium seats, cypress wood is one excellent, go-to choice for everything. What makes cypress wood so fantastic, and just about the best wood to be used in such a varied manner? Read on to find out!

Cypress wood is inherently water-resistant, decay-resistant, and long-lasting. Because of these characteristics, cypress wood is a premium choice for usage in houses and heavy construction, and hence more expensive.

Precious Cypress Wood

Cypress wood pattern
Cypress wood pattern

Historical accounts trace the use of Cypress wood long before the emergence of the United States. Its incredible water and decay resistance properties have been utilised throughout the ages, as is evident from ancient documentation and modern scientific research.

Cypress wood releases a sticky, oily resin type substance. This substance allows the milled lumber from cypress trees to be water resistant, decay resistant and insect repellant. These qualities make the lumber ideal for building and crafting. In fact cypress wood is probably the most versatile in all of America.

Slow Rate of Growth

Cypress Tree
Cypress Tree

Not only do the desirable qualities of cypress wood make it valuable, but an undesirable trait further increases its value. Cypress trees are in fact one of the slower growing trees. This means that it takes much longer to accumulate a certain amount of lumber.

This slow growth coupled with the excessive demand is what makes cypress wood so expensive. The increased demand for the lumber drastically increases its price. To meet demands much more land must be cultivated to grow enough cypress trees to feed industrial demands.

Moreover, certain types of cypress wood, such as the pecky cypress wood are even more valuable. The reason being that pecky cypress wood is made by a fungus. This creates aesthetically pleasing pocket patterns on the wood.

The patterned cypress wood is highly sought after by artisans and enthusiasts. The fact that this wood is so rare simply further increases its value. These factors are responsible for making cypress wood far more valuable than other types of construction wood.

Major Uses of Cypress Wood

With understanding what makes cypress wood so valuable it is not difficult to deduce that cypress wood is basically an all-around use wood. Meaning that due to its versatile nature, the cypress wood may be used for a range of different activities.

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Alongside its various purposes in construction, cypress wood is also used to build an array of things. These include but are not limited to:

1. Making boats and dugout canoes

Cypress Tree Plantation
Cloudy day in Tuscany by ikmattie is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

This particular use of cypress wood has been documented since the beginning of time. Native Americans, such as the Seminoles in Florida, made dugout canoes out of hollowed out cypress logs to go through swamps and marshes. This enabled them to travel far and establish settlements.

In ancient times, the natives would chop down the tree and warm the trunk over a fire. This method ensured that they could carve the tree into the shape of a boat. This effective method allowed them to craft boats to travel through the swamps in their lands.

These boats were a staple of Native American life on the wetlands and marshlands due to their inherent water and rot resistance. Native Americans could trade with neighboring groups, fish, and hunt in distant locations using these hollowed-out trunks.

Historians argue that perhaps the very discovery of the cypress tree and its water resistant qualities is what enabled the natives to reside in these lands. While experts argue on the hypothesis, it cannot be argued that the cypress tree was essential in the natives’ lives.

We still manufacture some boats out of cypress wood nowadays. Especially by boaters who desire to build their own watercraft. It is softer than oak or teak wood, making it simpler to work with, and, as previously said, it is inherently water and rot resistant. 

Skilled craft workers equipped with the correct equipment may produce stunning works of art that also function as watercraft.

2. To build Log Cabins

Cypress Cones Hanging
Cypress Cones Hanging

Today, cypress wood is still used to construct log dwellings. These trees generate Cypressene, a preservative that aids in water and rot resistance. It also repels insects such as termites and carpenter bees, who love to chisel out perfect-looking dime-sized holes and burrow into wood home soffits and siding. 

Cypress trees are softwood, but because of their densely packed growth rings, they are frequently referred to as hardwood. Furthermore, because of the thin growth rings, they are less prone to shrinking, bending, and warping, making cypress trunks ideal for log structures. 

If you’ve ever stayed in a log cabin while on vacation, it was most likely made of cypress logs.

3. Used to construct wooden docks

Cypress Tree Garden
Cypress Tree Garden

Cypress trees are frequently found growing in swamps and marshes, with the lower trunks and roots totally submerged. As a result, it makes sense to utilize this wood to construct boat docks and piers. The wood takes dyes well and can last for up to 40 years. 

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If the wood originates from heartwood and/or an old-growth tree, it might survive up to 100 years with proper maintenance. Again, the low shrinkage, bending, and warping of cypress wood makes it an excellent choice for docks and piers.

4. To craft siding and roofing shingles for houses

Cypress Tree Leaves
Cypress Tree Leaves

Similar to the advantages of utilizing cypress wood for the purposes stated above, this wood is also utilized for siding and roofing shingles. It is not uncommon for roofing shingles in modern houses to be made from cypress wood.

Cypress wood, pretty much like cedar, provides excellent siding and shingles. This is because of its resistance to insects, severe weather, water, and shrinking. Making this the perfect material for wooden roof shingles and siding.

Cypress has more insect repellent oils than cedar, making it a somewhat better choice, and it is frequently less expensive.

The cypress wood used for shingles also ages nicely, gradually acquiring a silvery-gray tint over time. Simply seal or paint the wood to prevent it from developing to a pewter tone. In comparison to more resinous forms of hardwood, cypress wood accepts sealants and stains quite well.

Due to the softer nature of the cypress wood, it works well on the outside of your home. It is not wrong to say that the cypress wood performs similarly to some pine species. 

When attaching to the side or top of the house, nails and screws are less likely to bend, break, or split the wood. This of course is when cypress wood is being used. The low shrinkage and warping really plays a role in this.

5. Ingeniously used for outdoor furniture

Cypress Tree Field
Cypress Tree Field

When crafting outdoor furniture, the main worry is rotting. Wood may rot much faster when left outside, exposed to the agents of decay. Not only that but it is also prone to attacks from insects and termites.

These factors may disqualify outdoor wooden furniture from ever being made, however, cypress wood may just be the exception. Due to the wood’s remarkable resistance to most of the agents of decay, using it for outdoor furniture is obviously a no-brainer.

Not only is cypress wood water resistant and rot resistant, it also repels a fair amount of insects. This makes it ideal for a range of outdoor furniture and accessories.

Outdoor fireplace mantels, tables & chairs, and outdoor kitchen cabinets are all made from cypress wood. Properly treated and sealed outdoor cypress furniture will provide its owner with a lifetime of superb service.

The wood from cypress trees is easy to deal with. That is, it can be easily cut, carved, and sanded with power tools or by hand. As a result, cypress wood is an excellent choice for woodworking and furniture production.

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6. Cypress Wood is used in the manufacture of paneling

Open Cypress Cone
Open Cypress Cone

Cypress wood paneling is becoming increasingly popular in homes. This is largely  due to its appealing, tight grain pattern and rich golden hue. Cypress also accepts stains, oils, sealers, and paints well, making it a flexible wall covering material.

7. At times even stadium seating uses Cypress Wood

Cypress Tree Cones
Cypress Tree Cones

Stadium seats, like outdoor furniture, are occasionally made of cypress wood. Cypress wood appears to be tailor-made for this purpose. 

Stadium seats sit unused for long periods of time under adverse weather conditions such as blazing sun, torrential rains, and snow. With all of the advantages of cypress wood, stadium seating lasts a long time, lowering the cost of needing to replace seats frequently.

8. Used as mulch

Cypress Tree Foilage
Cypress Tree Foilage

Cypress trees may be crushed down for mulch. It is a light-colored mulch that has a pleasant fragrant fragrance. Moreover, the mulch formed from the cypress trees is insect repellant. Furthermore, the mulch also has certain antifungal properties. These make it exceptional as mulch to support growing trees and protect them from disease.

Cypress mulch lasts up to two to three times longer than equivalent hardwood mulches, similar to the long-lasting properties of cedar mulch. Long lasting with all of the disease resistant properties.

Cypress mulch keeps weeds at bay, retains moisture for your plants, stops airborne seeds from falling to the ground and sprouting, and controls temperature for plant roots. It also keeps insects and reptiles at bay.

The main property of any mulch is to keep the area surrounding a tree moist. To do this the mulch has to trap water molecules and prevent them from escaping. The fact that cypress tree mulch is made from water resistant material means that any water trapped within cannot escape out. Making the mulch retain moisture for longer and in drier conditions.

The one item to keep an eye out for is sapwood in your cypress mulch. This may attract insects since they can make a meal out of it.

9. Cypress oil is an ingredient in cosmetic and shampoos

Cypress Tree Cone
Cypress Tree Cone

Cypress oil has several applications as well. A steam distillation procedure is used to extract the oil-resin of cypress trees. Purified cypress oil may be found in a variety of items that many of us use on a daily basis.

Shampoo, cosmetic goods, and health items may include cypress oil on occasion.

It’s also available as an essential oil which some believe offers a slew of health advantages. It is packaged in high-quality, UV-protected glass bottles and comes with a lifetime warranty. Before using any health-related products it is a wise idea to consult an expert.

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