What is Cypress

Other Names: Bald cypress, Red cypress, Yellow cypress, Southern cypress

Cypress trees are conifers, but unlike most American softwoods, they are deciduous trees that shed foliage in the fall like hardwoods. Although cypress is a softwood, it grows alongside hardwoods and is traditionally grouped and manufactured with hardwoods.

Most cypress trees are natives of the South and grow in the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains from Delaware to Texas, as well as in the Mississippi Valley from the Louisiana Delta to southern Indiana.

Cypress roots love water. Some trees growing on wet sites develop what are called cypress “knees” or pneumatophores. The knee-like upright growths come from the roots, helping to support the tree and also to aerate the waterlogged root system. The wood from the knees is soft and light and can be used to makes vases and novelty items.