Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: We are currently updating information following recent Queensland and Australian Government announcements. Find assistance and support for coronavirus affected businesses and industries.

White cypress

Scientific name

Callitris glaucophylla. Family Cupressaceae

Other names

Cypress pine; western cypress; cypress


  • White cypress grows to 25m high, typically conical.
  • Stem is 0.3 to 0.6m diameter.
  • Bark is dark grey, hard and deeply furrowed.
  • Foliage is grey-green.


  • Widespread natural distribution from central western Queensland to Victoria throughout most of the western New South Wales.
  • Occurs in major commercial forest  in the Tambo–Dalby–Inglewood region of southern Queensland
  • Occurs in the Baradine–Narrabri and Cobar districts of northern New South Wales.
  • Sawn timber is readily available.



  • Heartwood varies from light to dark yellow-brown.
  • Sapwood is creamy white.


  • Very fine with an even texture and generally straight.
  • Knots are common.


  • Construction: sawn timber (usually unseasoned) in general house framing, fascias, barge boards and fencing; also cladding, flooring, linings and joinery.
  • Decorative: internal quality furniture, outdoor furniture, turnery, joinery, carving, parquetry flooring.
  • Others: beehives, oyster stakes, jetty piles (low salinity river or canal situations).


  • Density: 675kgm3 at 12% moisture content; about 1.5m3 of seasoned sawn timber per tonne.
  • Strength groups: S5 unseasoned, SD6 seasoned.
  • Stress grades: F4, F5, F7 (unseasoned); F4, F5, F7 (seasoned) when visually stress-graded according to AS 2858-2008 : Timber—Softwood—Visually graded for structural purposes.
  • Joint groups: J3 unseasoned, JD3 seasoned.
  • Shrinkage to 12% MC: 2.6% (tangential), 2.4% (radial).
  • Unit shrinkage: 0.26% (tangential), 0.22% (radial).
  • Durability above-ground: Class 1 (life expectancy more than 40 years); heartwood is highly resists decay when fully exposed to the weather.
  • Durability in-ground: Class 2 (life expectancy 15–25 years); heartwood moderately resists decay when used in the ground.
  • Lyctine susceptibility: not susceptible.
  • Termite resistance: resistant.
  • Preservation: sapwood and heartwood are both very resistant to impregnating with commercial preservative.
  • Seasoning: dries quickly, but restrict the drying rate during the early stages to avoid fine surface checking; rarely distorts during drying.
  • Hardness: firm (rated 4 on a 6-class scale) to indent and working with hand tools.
  • Machining: satisfactorily machines and turns to a smooth surface.
  • Fixing: pre-drill seasoned timber when hand nailing, but if machine nailing, using shear point nails will be satisfactory; unseasoned timber generally nails well using either method but pre-drill when hand nailing close to board ends.
  • Gluing: satisfactorily bonds using special techniques, e.g. slightly roughening surfaces and increasing open assemble times.
  • Finishing: readily accepts paint, stain and polish.

Identification features

General characteristics

  • Sapwood: creamy white, distinct from heartwood.
  • Heartwood: light to dark yellow-brown.
  • Texture: very uniform with some figure (pattern) and numerous knots.

Wood structure

  • Growth rings: indistinct.
  • Vessels: absent.
  • Rays: indistinct.

Other features

  • Burning splinter test: burns well leaving a white ash.
  • Odour: distinctive and characteristic.

Research and resources

  • Boland, DJ, Brooker, MIH, Chippendale, GM, Hall, N, Hyland, BPM, Johnston, RD, Kleinig, DA and Turner, JD 2006, Forest trees of Australia, 5th ed., CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
  • Bootle, K 2005, Wood in Australia: Types, properties and uses, 2nd ed., McGraw-Hill, Sydney.
  • Ilic, J 1991, CSIRO atlas of hardwoods, Crawford House Press, Bathurst, Australia.
  • Queensland Government, DAF 2018, Construction timbers in Queensland: Properties and specifications for satisfactory performance of construction timbers in Queensland. Class 1 and Class 10 buildings, Books 1 & 2, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Brisbane.
  • Standards Australia, 2008, AS 2858—2008: Timber—Soft wood—Visually stress-graded for structural purposes, Standards Australia International, Strathfield, NSW.