There is frequently a wide variation of color with one shade
usually predominating in a given locality. For instance, the prevailing
type found in the deep swamps of the St. Johns River is amber, referred
to as yellow cypress, while that growing on the fringe or shallow swamps
of the St. Johns is decidedly darker and possessed of stronger grain. The
typical amber wood of the Apalachicola and other alluvial river swamps
occasionally gradates to dark brown or chocolate and when cut often
presents dark stripes on a lighter background.
Trees that show the dark-red bands of the heavier summerwood,
especially in the lower Mississippi River delta, are known as red cypress.
Wood from the northern regions is referred to as white cypress. In
southern lumber camps, logs that float high are also called "white"
regardless of actual color. In lumber camps along the Atlantic coast,
heavy wood which sinks or floats very low is called "black" while in
Gulf region the term refers more to color than buoyancy. Dark cypress
frequently is no heavier than lighter shades of the wood.
When thoroughly seasoned, cypress wood weight on an average
of about 28 pounds a cubit foot. It is considerably heavier than
redwood, spruce, and most cedars. The specific gravity green cypress
generally varies from about 0.80, or 50 pounds, a cubit foot to 62.35, or
the same weight as water, although it is often much lighter than this.
When dried it is sometimes found as light as cork and is frequently used
for floats on fishing nets.