Common Name – Cypress
Irish Name – cufróg
Latin Name – cypressus
Cypress trees are native to North America in temperate regions, and they are deciduous conifers with straight trunks that stand out because of their longevity, size, and resistance to water rot. Cypress trees can grow to 40m. The foliage is dense and hides much of the trunk. The bark is red-grey with ridges, and twigs are slender, brown and flexible. The foliage is scale-like, soft and overlapping with the leaves form flat sprays on long stalks. When the foliage is crushed there is a distinctive smell of resin. It can be identified in winter by the male cones, which are yellow at tips of twigs and the female cones, which are rounded.
Since cypress trees are water damage resistant, they are valued for their wood quality and are frequently used for furniture and building materials. They are also used for landscaping and help create a natural wind barrier in open spaces.
As with most types of trees, there is no single variety of cypress trees.
Did you know? As a sterile hybrid accidentally created in Wales from two species of cypress from North America, Leyland cypress is not found in the wild. It is fast-growing and therefore commonly grown in Ireland as a hedge in residential areas. It grows well in most soils and prefers full sun, but it is not good for biodiversity as it does not allow any other plant to grow underneath nor do birds nest in them.