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The Cypress Story


The Cypress tree is a small to medium-sized native softwood, widely distributed in inland areas of Australia with moderate rainfall. Pre-European settlement saw much of the country in New South Wales and Queensland now devoted to wheat growing originally covered with Cypress woodlands.

In the mid to late 1800's, when Europeans moved in with sheep and cattle, they disrupted Aboriginal burning, and in the late 1880's after drought and the churning of cloven hooves, followed by heavy rains, seedlings came up as thick as a crop of wheat over large areas. According to counts made around this time, in the great Pilliga Forests of northern NSW, it grew as mature old greys, spaced at four to the hectare with 30 odd young Cypress coming on to replace them.

Squatters mustered what stock survived and moved out, leaving the valuable self-generating Cypress Forests that we have available today.
Cypress is prolifically self-perpetuating under the right conditions but, unlike most native Australian plants, it cannot tolerate much fire.

With the introduction of the rabbit, subsequent seedlings were quickly eaten, and it was not until the 1950's with more wet seasons and the introduction of Myxomatosis, that the cypress Forests experienced another seed drop, hence another layer added to the forest.

Again in the mid 1980's several 'wet' seasons saw another seed drop, giving the forest 3 distinct layers of Cypress.

This resource is managed by Forests NSW, with trees being selectively harvested, via a thinning process, ensuring a sustainable,
and enviromentally, best practice in Forest Management.

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