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Information on Cypress

Cypress-The "Wood Eternal"

     CYPRESS. One of the most durable of all woods, cypress resists insects and chemical corrosion as well as decay and has a smell resembling that of cedar. Cypress products include coffins, acid tanks, docks, pilings, poles, and railroad ties. Today cypress trees are often grown as ornamentals.
     In the United States the southern, or bald, cypress is used for lumber. It is a native of coastal swamps from Delaware through Texas and of Mississippi Valley bottomlands as far north as southern Illinois. It grows very large; and it may live more than 12 centuries. Some specimens are 150 feet (46 meters) tall with a limb spread of 80 feet (24 meters). In swamps the roots spread out for support. Some of the roots send knobby "knees" up above the water to get air. The branches bear light-green needlelike leaves and round cones the size of walnuts. The tree is called "bald" because, though a conifer, its leaves are shed in the fall.
     The Italian cypress is a tall, candle-shaped evergreen of Mediterranean shores. It also yields wood that lasts for centuries. The cypress doors of St. Peter's in Rome served for 1,100 years and were still sound when replaced by doors of bronze.
(Reprinted from Comptons Interactive Encyclopedia 1994 Edition)

     CYPRESS, SY-pruhs, is any one of a group of tall evergreen trees that grow in North America, Europe, and Asia. There are about 13 species or kinds, six of which grow naturally in southwestern United States. The trees adapt themselves readily to warm climates, and gardeners often use them as ornamentals.
     Cypress trees have small, scale-like leaves that grow in dense fan-shaped sprays. Their globe-shaped cones are covered with woody scales that look like small shields. Cypress wood is light brown and durable. It smells strongly of cedar.
     The Monterey cypress is one of the most picturesque trees in North America. It is named for the Monterey Peninsula of California, its native region. Its trunk is rather small, rarely more than 20 inches in diameter. It has long, strong, massive limbs that spread and grow in unusual shapes. The whole tree is gnarled and bent by the constant strong ocean winds. The Monterey cypress is a favorite subject for artists because of its picturesque beauty.
     The bald cypress, well known in the southeastern United States and in Mexico, is not a true cypress. It is closely related to the sequoias of California (see SEQUOIA). In prehistoric times, these trees were widely distributed throughout Europe and North America. But only two species remain.
     The bald cypress grows along the banks of streams and in swamps. It grows to a great age and large size, sometimes 150 feet high and 17 feet in diameter. Its durable wood is often called the wood eternal. The massive trunk of the tree tapers upward from its wide, flaring base, where massive roots combine to form supporting buttresses. The roots of these trees form knees, or knobs, that protrude above the surface of the water. Scientists believe that these knobs provide air for the roots.
(Reprinted from World Book Encyclopedia)

(Gen 6:14 New International Version) "So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out."
(Quoted from the Bible, Genesis 6:14 New International Version)

     BALD CYPRESS-The bald cypress, Taxodium distichum, is an attractive coniferous tree of the southeastern United States. It grows mainly in swampy areas, sometimes reaching a height of 45 m (150 ft). Not a true cypress, the tree is deciduous, shedding its needlelike leaves and short branches in winter--hence its name. It is noted for its long life; trees as old as 1,200 years have been reported. When it stands in water, unique structures called "knees" (conical outgrowths of lateral roots) develop and usually project above the water. Bald cypress wood is decay-resistant and is valued for construction and siding. The taller Montezuma, or Mexican, cypress, T. mucronatum, of Mexico is not deciduous, although it may be so in cooler regions. These two species are all that remain of a genus that was widely distributed a few million years ago. They are members of the redwood family, Taxodiaceae.

Posts, Poles, and Pilings
     Close to 500 million posts, poles, and pilings are required each year. Often, much of these supplies are gathered by farmers from their land. Fence posts are usually made from cedar, cypress, Osage orange, or black locust because of their durability. Telephone poles account for more than 6 million new poles annually. Douglas fir, southern pine, and lodgepole pine are favored for telephone poles.
(Reprinted from Groliers Multimedia Encyclopedia)

bald cypress n. 1. A deciduous, coniferous tree (Taxodium distichum) native to the swamps and streamsides of the southeast United States, having alternate, awl-shaped leaves, globose cones, and sometimes aerial root knees. 2. The decay-resistant wood of this plant, used in construction and boat building.
(American Heritage Dictionary)

     Cypress (tree), common name for several coniferous trees and shrubs of the genus Cupressus and allied genera of the family Cupressaceae. The common cypress, C. sempervirens, native to the Mediterranean region, is a symmetrical evergreen that resembles some poplars and often reaches a height of more than 27 m (about 90 ft). It has a close-grained yellow or reddish wood, so resinous that it resists rotting even after prolonged submersion in water. The Monterey cypress, C. macrocarpa, is an even larger tree found on the Pacific coast in California. It sometimes grows as tall as 46 m (about 150 ft), with a base trunk circumference of 3 m (10 ft). This cypress is normally symmetrical but is often distorted into fantastic shapes by the action of the winds. Another true cypress is the cedar of Goa, or Portugal cedar, C. lusitanica, which is often planted in the United States for the decorative effect of its spreading branches.
"Cypress (tree)," Microsoft (R) Encarta. Copyright (c) 1993 Microsoft Corporation. Copyright (c) 1993 Funk & Wagnall's Corporation


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