Cypress trees have been used for many purposes over time. The wood from the tree is lightweight, durable and has no sap; cypress wood is known for not being prone to common problems such as splintering, cracking, warping or splitting. These are the main reasons why cypress trees are favored for a variety of uses.
Cypress trees are used in building furniture because it is lightweight and durable. Cypress wood is used in similar ways to cedar for chests, tables and bed frames. This wood handles stains, paint and sealers well; it can also be left in a natural state that will turn to a pewter coloring over time.
Cypress trees are used for building material. The Monterey cypress is used for boats, roofing shingles, doors and wood joints. Cypress trees have been used as siding for buildings over centuries especially in coastal areas because it is resistant to damage from moisture. Other uses include bridges, porches, shingles, barns and greenhouses.
Varieties of cypress, such as the graveyard cypress and Leyland cypress, are used for ornamental landscape purposes. Other uses for cypress trees include windbreaks when grouped together. These trees, both tall and slender, form natural walls for privacy and efficiency. Cypress trees are made into posts to support grapevines and arbors because of their resistance to rotting.
Cypress trees can be used for firewood. Cypress wood is easy to split and is clean burning, reducing tar and soot residue. This wood dries quickly and can be used soon after cutting. The wood is also fast burning because of its low or medium density.
Cypress wood was used by the Egyptians in the building of their mummy cases because of its durability. Cypress trees were also used for Greek urns for the ashes of those who died in battle. Plato's code of laws was written into cypress wood because it was thought to be longer lasting than brass.