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Cypress, White

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White cypress is a softwood timber species growing to a height of up to 25 metres and a stem diameter of 0.6 metres. It is commonly found throughout Victoria, western New South Wales and central western Queensland.

In contrast to a creamy-white band of sapwood, the heartwood of this species ranges in colour from light yellow through orange to light brown, with occasional dark brown streaks. Grain is generally straight with a very fine and even texture. The presence of numerous tight knots is a distinctive feature that produces a strikingly decorative figure on exposed faces.

Natural resins in the wood impart a distinctive odour to white cypress and are believed to contribute to the timber's impressive natural durability. Heartwood is resistant to termites. Life expectancy for above ground applications is greater than 40 years and up to 25 years in-ground. Both the sapwood and the heartwood of this species resist impregnation with commercially available preservatives.

In terms of hardness, white cypress is a firm timber (rated 4 on a 6-class scale in relation to both indentation and hand tooling). It can be satisfactorily machined and turned to a smooth finish. Pre-drilling is recommended for hand nailing seasoned timber, although machine nailing with shear-point nails works well. White cypress readily accepts most standard coatings, stains and polishes. Special techniques, such as surface roughening, are required for gluing. 

In its area of natural occurrence, white cypress is commonly found as sawn timber (usually unseasoned) in framework and other aspects of general building construction. More widely, it is used as flooring, cladding and fencing material. Decorative uses of white cypress include quality indoor and outdoor furniture, turnery, joinery, carving, parquetry and linings. Other common applications include oyster stakes and jetty piles in low-salinity environments, as well as beehives.

Appearance

In contrast to a creamy-white band of sapwood, the heartwood of this species ranges in colour from light yellow through orange to light brown, with occasional dark brown streaks. Grain is generally straight with a very fine and even texture. The presence of numerous tight knots is a distinctive feature that produces a strikingly decorative figure on exposed faces.

Common Applications

In its area of natural occurrence, white cypress is commonly found as sawn timber (usually unseasoned) in framework and other aspects of general building construction. More widely, it is used as flooring, cladding and fencing material. Decorative uses of white cypress include quality indoor and outdoor furniture, turnery, joinery, carving, parquetry and linings. Other common applications include oyster stakes and jetty piles in low-salinity environments, as well as beehives.

Common Form

Sawn

Workability

In terms of hardness, white cypress is a firm timber (rated 4 on a 6-class scale in relation to both indentation and hand tooling). It can be satisfactorily machined and turned to a smooth finish. Pre-drilling is recommended for hand nailing seasoned timber, although machine nailing with shear-point nails works well. White Cypress readily accepts most standard coatings, stains and polishes. Special techniques, such as surface roughening, are required for gluing. 

Origin of Timber

QLD

Availability - Further Information

Sawn timber products from white cypress are readily available in the eastern states of Australia and its areas of origin.

Availability - Further Information

Native Forest

Shrinkage

Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Tangential :

2.80%

Radial:

2.10%

Unit Movement Tangential:

0.28%

Unit Movement Radial:

0.23%

Strength Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium High

Medium

Reasonably Low

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

S1

S2

S3

S4

S5

S6

S7

Seasoned:

SD1

SD2

SD3

SD4

SD5

SD6

SD7

SD8

Stress Grade

Structural
No. 1
Structural
No. 2
Structural
No. 3
Structural
No. 4
Structural
No. 5

Unseasoned:

F11

F8

F7

F5

F4

Seasoned:

F14

F11

F8

F7

F5

Density per Standard

Seasoned:

700kg/m3

Unseasoned:

850kg/m3

Joint Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

J1

J2

J3

J4

J5

J6

Seasoned:

JD1

JD2

JD3

JD4

JD5

JD6

Colour

  White, yellow, pale straw to light brown Pink to pink brown Light to dark red Brown, chocolate, mottled or streaky
   

Mechanical Properties

Modulus of Rupture - Unseasoned:

71

Modulus of Rupture - Seasoned:

79

Modulus of Elasticity - Unseasoned:

7.7

Modulus of Elasticity - Seasoned:

9.0

Maximum Crushing Strength - Unseasoned:

40

Maximum Crushing Strength - Seasoned:

53

Impact - Unseasoned:

9.7

Impact - Seasoned:

5

Toughness - Unseasoned:

Low - up to 15 Nm

Toughness - Seasoned:

Low - up to 15 Nm

Hardness - Unseasoned:

4.6

Hardness - Seasoned:

6.1

Durability

Low Moderate Reasonably High High
(0 - 5 yrs) (5 - 15 yrs) (15 - 25 yrs) (more than 25 yrs)

In-Ground:

(0 - 7 yrs) (7 - 15 yrs) (15 - 40 yrs) (More than 40 yrs)

Above ground:

(0 - 20 yrs, usually < 5) (21 - 40 yrs) (41 - 64 yrs) (More than 60 yrs)

Marine Borer Resistance:

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility:

Not Susceptible

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility - Other:

Termite Resistance:

Resistant

Fire Properties

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

EFH Spread-of-Flame Index:

EFH Smoke-Developed Index:

Critical Radiance Flux - Lower:

>2.2 and <4.5

Critical Radiance Flux - Higher:

≥4.5

Smoke Development Rate:

<750
1 - non-combustible 2 - reasonably non-combustible 3 - slightly combustible 4 - combustible

Fire Properties Group
Number:

Average Specific Extinction Area:

<250

Bushfire Resistance:

BAL 12.5 and 19 – Door and window joinery only

Joinery

Timber joinery products offer a classic, unique and stylish touch to any interior or exterior design. The products are produced for a variety of internal applications including door and window frames, cabinetry, skirtings, mouldings and architraves. When looking to the outdoors, joinery products range from decorative eaves and posts to eye-catching railings.

Many timber species are suitable for joinery products and care should be taken in selecting the perfect timber for the particular product and its intended finish. Rare and exotic species such as Teak and Rosewood can generate pieces of outstanding beauty but material cost and availability are also important considerations.

Commercially available species like Tasmanian oak, Australian cypress, spotted gum and the like, often make the more practical choice, with the added benefit that they can be easily matched with other timber products within the building, like flooring.

Solid timber for joinery products is generally supplied as ‘clear finish grade' but ‘paint grade' options are available and these are usually comprised of a composite material like MDF or glulam.

A large number of specialist suppliers and producers offer the consumer extensive choice of profiles for all of the most common and popular joinery products. Choice is in many cases, limited only by imagination.

Cabinetry is often associated with joinery and most typically includes, cupboards, benches and other similar ‘built in' furniture. Like joinery, cabinetry is generally specified as either paint or clear finish grade and naturally for clear finish grade timbers, appearance and surface finish are critical in achieving a successful application.

 

Decking

Download the WoodSolutions Technical Design Guide on Domestic Timber Decking here.

Timber decks are a practical and attractive addition to any outdoor landscape. Natural timber decks blend seamlessly with their surrounding environment and will serve as popular entertaining areas all year long.

As an external structure, carrying large loads of traffic, timber decking has high structural performance requirements. In addition decks are usually raised clear off the ground and fully exposed to the weather meaning an effective deck must be able to cope with wear and tear from repeated use and in addition discharge rainwater efficiently. Roundin the corners (easing the arris) of the decking will help run off water while spacing for ventilation between the decking boards will prevent water ponding on the deck surface. 

Timber decking is available in both seasoned and unseasoned wood, in a wide range of species, sizes and grades. The natural appeal and strength of timber makes it a practical choice for outdoor decking. This guide provides an overview of best practice methods for specifying, installing and finishing a timber deck.

Fencing

The inherent appeal and strength of timber makes it the obvious choice for fencing. Timber fencing not only provides a natural look in keeping with the outdoor environment but it also enables the construction of a long lasting, durable property boundary. Fences come in many forms including the traditional paling, picket, post and railing styles. Most rely on a structural frame of posts embedded into the ground and two or more rails spanning between the posts. The ultimate selection of a suitable fence type or style is determined by application and aesthetics. A fence can serve a variety of purposes, including the provision of security, privacy and safety in addition to defining property boundaries. Specification for durability is important, especially for posts, given their exposure to high moisture in the ground.

This section provides an overview to best practice methods in specifying, installing and finishing a timber fence.

Retaining Walls (Landscaping)

The natural appeal, strength and versatility of timber makes it an ideal choice for retaining wall landscaping applications.

Retaining wall systems include cantilevered round or sawn timber, mass wall and crib wall construction. Walls up to one metre in height follow a basic design and can usually be constructed using standard proprietary wall systems. An engineer will be required to plan and design walls greater than one metre, including the footings and drainage.

Drainage of retaining walls is a critical factor in influencing the long term stability of the wall and should thus form a significant part of the design and planning process. 

Regular care and maintenance of retaining walls is essential in ensuring the long-term stability and safety of the structure.

Cladding, External

No other cladding material can offer the design freedom, ease of handling, range and natural beauty of timber. Timber cladding can create a building to suit almost any environment, taste or style.

Timber cladding has an inbuilt flexibility that provides natural advantages on sites subject to high winds, extreme climate, highly reactive soils, subsidence or earth tremors. And unlike masonry and other rigid materials, the natural resilience and high strength to weight ratio of timber enables it to withstand far greater stresses and movement.

Modern finishes give a long lasting and attractive appearance to timber cladding and can be used to change the colour and style of the building, making it a versatile material that will keep pace with changing tastes and fashions.

 

Framing

Lightweight timber construction typically comprises framed and braced structures to which one or more types of cladding are applied. Framing configurations can range from the closely spaced light timbers commonly seen in stud frame construction to large, more widely spaced timbers. A timber framed building can be placed on a concrete slab or on posts/poles or bearers resting on piers/stumps supported on pad footings.

Used in houses or multi-residential dwellings, lightweight timber construction offers the flexibility of a wide range of cost effective design options.

When the timber comes from sustainable sources, this construction method can be environmentally advantageous as it combines timber's low embodied energy with its capacity to store carbon.

Flooring

Whether for structural or finished flooring applications, timber offers durability, versatility and adaptability. The warmth, strength and natural beauty of timber flooring has proved enduringly popular in a wide variety of interior settings.

Timber flooring is a timeless product, offering a warmth and natural beauty largely unmatched by other flooring options. This article provides an overview of the installation of solid timber strip flooring over bearers and joists, timber based sheet flooring products and concrete slabs. Timber flooring is typically supplied as either solid timber or laminated wood products, made from layers of bonded timber. It fits together with a tongue and groove joint and once in place, is sanded and finished. There is a wide variety of species to select flooring from and the right species for a given application will be dependent on numerous factors. Information relating to species selection, environmental assessment, finish selection and recommended maintenance routines are all provided in this section.

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