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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.

The Australian Cypress forests of today are a result of thousands of years of management by mankind.

Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the Aboriginal people managed the landscape with the use of fire. This burning practice along with naturally occurring fires resulted in a Savannah like landscape of scattered large trees referred to as the “Old Greys” with open grasslands between them.

During the mid 1800's European graziers arrived with their mobs of sheep. The natural fires and burning practice of the aboriginal people were soon stopped to preserve the grasslands for grazing purposes.

Towards the end of the 1800's several wet years resulted in a large drop of seeds from the “Old Greys”. With the burning practices now halted this crop took hold and went on to become today's forests.

Shortly after this crop established, rabbits were introduced to the landscape. With very few natural predators they quickly reached plague proportions. As a result, any seed that dropped and tried to grow, were very quickly eaten.

During the mid 1950's a series of wet years saw another seed drop and with Myxomatosis having the rabbit numbers under control the 1950's crop was now able to establish.

The mid 1980's again saw successive wet years resulting in another crop establishing. Since the 1980's there have been several other seed drops resulting in further growth.

Aboriginal and European management have resulted in our unique Australian Cypress forests. These forests today provide multiple benefits including protection for flora and fauna, recreational activities and ongoing sustainable supply of timber for home construction.

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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