White Cypress Pine (Callitris glauca)

Australian Cypress (Callitris glauca)

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Common Name(s): Australian Cypress, White Cypress Pine

Scientific Name: Callitris columellaris (= C. glaucophylla)

Distribution: Australia

Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 1.5-2 ft (.5-.6 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 41 lbs/ft3 (650 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .56, .65

Janka Hardness: 1,360 lbf (6,060 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 11,550 lbf/in2 (79.6 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,351,000 lbf/in2 (9.32 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 7,460 lbf/in2 (51.5 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 3.7%, Tangential: 4.9%, Volumetric: 8.7%, T/R Ratio: 1.3

Color/Appearance: Heartwood color can vary between boards, ranging from light tan to darker brown, commonly with darker reddish brown streaks. Pale yellow or pinkish sapwood. Commonly small, tight knots are present throughout the wood.

Grain/Texture: Grain is straight, with a medium uniform texture.  Has a moderate natural luster with a slightly greasy or oily feel.

Endgrain: Resin canals absent; earlywood to latewood transition usually gradual, color contrast medium to high; tracheid diameter medium-large; zonate parenchyma abundant.

Rot Resistance: Reported to be very durable regarding decay resistance, and is also resistant to insect attack.

Workability: Generally easy to work, though frequent small knots can sometimes cause tearout or other machining difficulties. Glues and finishes well.

Odor: Has a characteristic scent that is similar to Camphor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Australian Cypress has been reported to cause skin irritation, as well as less common effects such as boils, swelling of eyelids, and asthma-like symptoms. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Most commonly offered as flooring, lumber prices should be moderate for an imported species.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.

Common Uses: Veneer, plywood, flooring, furniture, and other light construction purposes.

Comments: Although this tree is sometimes called by the confusing name White Cypress Pine, it’s not technically a true pine (Pinus genus), though it is included within the broader Cupressaceae family, which includes several genera which encompass the more general term “cypress.”

This Australian softwood species is one of the hardest conifers in the world, rivaling some species of Yew (Taxus spp.) found in the Northern Hemisphere. Consequently, it’s forgivable that this “softwood” species is commonly used for flooring.

Related Species:

None available.

Related Articles:

None available.

Scans/Pictures:

Australian Cypress (Callitris glauca)

Australian Cypress (sanded)

Australian Cypress (sealed)

Australian Cypress (sealed)

Australian Cypress (endgrain)

Australian Cypress (endgrain)

Australian Cypress (endgrain 10x)

Australian Cypress (endgrain 10x)

  • vicky

    Hi I was eyeing this table, I wonder if it’s oak. Would anyone be able to help? Thanks in advance.

    • vicky

      picture as attached.

      • ejmeier

        Highly unlikely that it’s oak. Where are you located? I noticed you posted this on the page for Australian Cypress, so definitions of “oak” may vary depending on where you’re from.

        • vicky

          Thanks for reply. I’m located in Australia. What do you think it might be then?

        • ejmeier

          Sorry, I really do not know a whole lot about native Australian species except for the handful that are exported to the United States. It may very well be a type of Australian oak. Perhaps someone with more knowledge in Aussie woods can chime in…

  • Rob

    This wood is a member of the pine family. The grain is nothing like oak. The color is nothing like oak. It’s a very oily yet SOFT wood. Typically used for flooring in cabins and inexpensive furniture. It’s not dense at all and after several years of drying out is extremely light.