Macrocarpa

Macrocarpa has yellow-brown heartwood colour, darker in old trees, sapwood 40-50mm, is paler coloured. Air-dry density 475-485 kgm-3, wood is soft with a fragrant, spicy odour.

Other Names

Monterey cypress (USA), golden cypress (AUST), cypress macrocarpa

Botanical Name

Cupressus macrocarpa

Common Form
Sawn
Species Type

Sapwood colour: pale yellow-brown and little different from the yellow-brown heartwood although wood from old trees tends to be darker.   

Grain and texture: grain generally straight but can deviate considerably from stem fluting or around knots from large branches of trees grown in open grown shelter belts or plantations.  The texture is fine and even with visible growth rings.  Tissue gives the wood a lustrous appearance similar to that of hoop or kauri.   The heartwood exhibits a fragrant spicy odour or ‘pencils’ similar to that of western red cedar. 

The species is originally from the United States of America; in Australia it was commonly used for windbreaks on Victorian farms, where it was planted around 70 to 100 years ago. Now it is increasingly available commercially.  Several small sawmilling operations in Victoria are processing the farm-sourced timber.  The tree was also introduced to New Zealand in the 1860’s, tropical Africa and Madagascar and was planted mainly in shelter belts but occasionally in plantations in New Zealand. 

The wood is a lightweight softwood (475-485 kg/m3 at 12% MC) and is a moderately stiff, strong timber similar to NZ grown Douglas Fir, it can be difficult to kiln dry, usually exhibiting collapse and sometimes internal checking. 

The wood saws and works easily owing to its fine texture.  It holds nails well and the gluing and painting properties are good.   It is one of the most naturally durable exotic softwoods grown in New Zealand, and is resistant to insect and borer attack in sawn form.  The heartwood is rated moderately durable (Class 3) in ground which means that a 50x50 stake will last 10-15 years. Larger sections will last longer.  Above ground it is regarded as equivalent to H3 pine. It is reportedly, naturally, termite-resistant (http://www.jedwoodtimber.com.au/cypress.html) although no published test data is available.

Shrinkage

Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Tangential :

3.30%

Radial :

1.60%

Unit Movement Tangential:

0.25%

Unit Movement Radial:

0.12%

Strength Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium High

Medium

Reasonably Low

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

S1

S2

S3

S4

S5

S6

S7

S8

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:

Seasoned:

Density per Standard

Seasoned:

480kg/m3

Unseasoned:

820kg/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:

53

Modulus of Rupture - Seasoned:

74.3

Modulus of Elasticity - Unseasoned:

7.1

Modulus of Elasticity - Seasoned:

7.9

Maximum Crushing Strength - Unseasoned:

23

Maximum Crushing Strength - Seasoned:

40.3

Impact - Unseasoned:

Impact - Seasoned:

Toughness - Unseasoned:

Toughness - Seasoned:

Hardness - Unseasoned:

1.9

Hardness - Seasoned:

2.5

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

Appearance

Sapwood colour pale yellow-brown and little different from the yellow-brown heartwood although wood from old trees tends to be darker.   Grain and texture: grain generally straight but can deviate considerably from stem fluting or around knots from large branches of trees grown in open grown shelter belts or.  The texture is fine and even with visible growth rings.  Ray tissue gives the wood a lustrous appearance similar to that of hoop or kauri.   The heartwood exhibits a fragrant spicy odour or ‘pencils’ similar to that of western red cedar. 

Common Applications

Weatherboards, pergolas, landscaping, exposed rafters and beams (internal), shingles, tongue and grove panelling, flooring overlays, feature gates and fencing, slabs for kitchens and bar tops, shop fittings signs, tables, (use for furniture is comparable to radiata pine although the long term performance is adversely affected by the low hardness (c. 65% that of pine)), boat building, cabinet making, wood turning and carving, fence battens, stairways and balustrades, laminating, picture framing and joinery and firewood.

Workability

The wood saws, planes and works easily owing to its fine texture.  It holds nails well; the gluing and painting properties are good.   Bending properties are reportedly very poor.

Origin of timber
VIC
Farm lots
Readily Available
VIC
This originally exotic species commonly used for windbreaks on Victorian farms is becoming increasingly available commercially. Several small sawmilling operations in Victoria include e.g., (http://goldencypress.com.au/) and (http://www.jedwoodtimber.com.au/cypress.html). Elsewhere processing farm-sourced and plantation grown timber includes, e.g., (http://www.cypress-sawmill.co.nz/)
Source of timber
Plantation
Image

Joinery

Timber joinery offers a classic, stylish touch to any interior or exterior space.
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Panelling, Interior

Timber panelling creates interiors as warm as they are stylish. Commonly using an MDF or plywood substrate, internal timber paneling is natural and versatile and comes as either solid natural timber panels or as sheets of engineered wood products
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Cladding, External

The natural appeal, versatility and strength of timber makes it the superior choice for external cladding. Through specification, planning, design and finishing processes, timber cladding not only creates a building of superior strength, acoustic and thermal performance but also creates a place of beauty, style and natural appeal.
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Windows

With natural aesthetic appeal, versatility and sound structural performance, timber provides excellent window joinery design options. Whether stained to bring out natural tones, or painted to compliment particular décors, timber windows can be tailored to suit a huge variety of styles and can be installed into any type of building.

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