Get to Know Southern Cypress

Wood grain in a golden honey Color

Cypress trees are conifers that produce needles and cones, but unlike most American softwoods, they are deciduous trees that shed foliage in the fall like hardwoods. And although cypress is a softwood, it grows alongside hardwoods and is traditionally grouped and manufactured with them as well. 

Most cypress trees are natives of the South and grow in a 13-state growing region 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 trees typically reach 60–80 feet tall, but can grow up to 100–150 feet, and 3–6 feet in diameter.

Cypress tree roots love water. Some trees growing in these areas develop “knees” or pneumatophores. The knee-like growths come from the roots, helping to support the tree and also to help aerate the waterlogged root system. The wood from the knees is soft and light, and can be used to make vases and novelty items.