Cypress: The Wood Eternal

Cypress: The Wood Eternal


  • Cypress: The Wood Eternal

Published Date

  • published 1941


requires much water and will establish itself only in places of abundant
moisture. Later the seedling growth is better on well-drained lands. This
leads to the conclusion that gradual drainage is actually beneficial.

If the water level is lowered too rapidly, it will disturb the
equilibrium between the root system and water supply, for the tree
possesses the power of adjusting its roots to a gradual reduction of water
in the soil. Therefore, a moderate drainage should prove as beneficial to
cypress as to neighboring hardwoods.

Pond cypress is usually stunted and suitable only for poles and
piling. This is because of the variable water supply and high acid content
of the soil. While dependent chiefly upon fresh water, tidewater cypress
advances to some extent into brackish water but the growth is distinctly
inferior and the salty overflows from driving storms occasionally kill the

Winged seed of the cypress are contained in cones with pockets
or sacs filed with a red resin which protects them from birds and rodents.
Unlike the seed of most other conifers, these are not scattered to any
extent by wind or animals. While seed are produced in great abundance,
they will not germinate if continuously submerged. Thus cypress does
not spread rapidly. It will, however, sprout readily from the stumps of
trees between 50 and 100 years old and occasionally from those up to
200 years old.

When growing under very wet conditions, the heartwood is subject
to fungous attack which may destroy all but a hollow cylinder of sapwood at