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Wood Species: Cypress (Australian)

Scientific Name: Callitris glauca

Trade Name: Australian cypress

Family Name: Cupressaceae

Common Names: Murray River Pine, Murray River Cypress, Cypress-Pine, Murray Pine (Australia).
Regions of Distribution: Africa, Oceana and Southeast Asia

Countries of Distribution: Primarily Australia but less so in India, Solomon Islands, South Africa and Tanzania


Color: Sapwood is cream colored with hints of pink. Heartwood ranges from honey-gold to red-brown.
This wood, which may amber over time, has many dark knots of various sizes.

Grain: Straight, closed, tight

Variations within species and grades: Color varies considerably from tree to tree.


Hardness/Janka: 1375 (7% harder than northern red oak)

Dimensional stability: Excellent at 2.8, which is 67% more stable than red oak, though actual installations have shown a great deal of movement.

Origin: Australia

Availability: Readily available

Average and maximum lifespan: 50 years


Sawing/Machining: Good machining qualities

Sanding: Its high resin tends to clog sandpaper, so be prepared to change paper often Hard plating and screening can leave swirls; screening it more that twice might be needed. Knots in this wood are very hard and may cause wave. A 12 by 18 inch oscillating sander as the final screening minimizes the scratch pattern.

Nailing: Splits tongues easily and can be brittle

Finishing: knots may cause drying problems because the sap rises to the top of the knot. Avoid high gloss finishes because the sap will combine with the finish and cause waves. Because of low shrinkage it is customarily used in the green or partially dried condition.

Common Uses: Cosmetics, healing oils, siding, flooring, joinery, posts and poles, decorative veneer, furniture components, telephone poles, fences, firewood, balusters, bedroom suites, bent parts, boxes and crates, building construction, building materials, cabinetmaking, canoes, casks, chairs, chests, construction, core stock, crossties, decorative plywood, decorative veneer, desks, dining-room furniture, domestic flooring, drawer sides, excelsior, exterior trim & siding, exterior uses, figured veneer, fine furniture, commercial heavy traffic flooring, foundation posts, hat-racks, interior construction, joinery, kitchen cabinets, light construction, piling, plywood, poles, posts, railroad ties, shipbuilding, toys, turnery, veneer, log homes The resin from the tree is used in glue, incense and certain varnishes. The Callitris forests of Australia are also used extensively for grazing and for beekeeping.

Detailed Description

Plant habit and lifestyle: Gymnosperm, may reach a height of 100 ft with diameters around 16 in to 24 in.
short, jointed, and angled covered with small scale-like leaves.

Stems: None

Buds: Scale-like, arranged in six rows along the twigs, in alternating whorls of three.

Leaves: None

Flowers: Its woody globular cones can remain on the branches for many years. The male cones are small, 3-6 mm long, and are located at the tips of the twigs. The female cones maturing 18-20 months to 1 and a half in. These cones are long and wide, with six overlapping, thick, woody scales, arranged in two whorls of three.

Fruits: 1 to 8 seeds nest below each scale

Habitat: Tolerant of a wide variety of climates, with temperatures from below freezing degrees to over 104, with greater than a foot of annual rainfall. However it is sensitive to fire so prefers undulating or flat land with sandy soils, or in upland rocky climates that protect themselves from frequent, intense fire.

Special Diagnostic Characteristics: This wood has an aromatic camphor-like odor and feels greasy. Working with it may cause an allergic reaction that irritates the nose and eyes, but the scent goes away quickly while you work with it. It’s very resistant to attack by decay, fungi and insects, including termites. High resistance to marine organisms is also reported. The perfect wood for anyone looking for a product that looks antique or a country motif.