the base of a mature tree. The age limit of a tree depends largely upon its
ability to withstand wind and fungi.
Insects damage logs, girdled trees, and freshly-sawed lumber.
Investigations of the United States Bureau of Entomology have shown
that the principal insects attacking cypress timber are several species of
pinhole borers or ambrosia beetles, often creating what is known as
The oil or resign in the wood is known as "cypressene" and varies
from a heavy content, as in the case of sapwood, to a lighter one in
heartwood. It is easily recognized by the soapy feeling of the wood.
There seems to be some relation between the color of the wood,
its oil content, and durability, for all cypress wood is not uniform in
respect to durability. Some posts in a fence for instance have to be
replaced long before others and one plank in a cypress boat may decay
while another-lasts almost indefinitely.
During its age-old past this remarkable tree has been able to adapt
itself to surprising changes in environment, for cypress was once a
highland growth, like its cousin, the cedar. Having withstood the
ravages of varying clime and soil, cypress was gradually crowded off the
uplands by denser hardwoods to find another habitat on the newer lands
of swamp and delta where it served the natural function of building up
lowlands of marsh and water until less hardy plants could grow upon