Izabal Wood Co.


Ciprés / Cupressus lusitanica

Local Names
Mexican White Cedar, Cedar of Goa, Portuguese cypress, Lebanese Cypress, Lusitanica Cypress, Táscate, Tlascal.
Distribution & Tree
Its natural range runs from southern Mexico from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador (and possibly as far south as Panama). It occurs across the cordillera in elevations between 1,800 and 2,600 meters with annual precipitation above 1,500 mm with a marked dry season. It prefers well-drained, humid, deep volcanic soils. Height may exceed 30 meters with a bole diameter, reaching up to 90 cm, and a dense conical crown. Foliage is bluish green. Logs are well-shaped, straight, and cylindrical. It’s been introduced to southern Europe, India, East and South Africa, the Middle East, and the Southern Cone.
Wood Appearance
Heartwood yellowish, pale brown, reddish, or pinkish, sometimes streaked or variegated by visible growth rings; sapwood usually sharply demarcated. Grain straight; texture fine and uniform; luster rather high; fragrantly scented. Once considered a defect, knots are increasingly considered a characteristic conveying uniqueness and a rustic look.
Processing Properties
The wood is easy to work with hand and machine tools, easy to nail, and stains and polishes well. Air dries very rapidly with little or no end or surface checking and only slight warp. Reported to cause skin irritation.
Strength & Durability
A moderately heavy wood, reports on durability are conflicting, possibly due to the susceptibility of the sapwood to decay and insects and relative durability of the heartwood (the latter is reported to be not treatable by the open tank process). Mature heartwood is moderately resistant to marine borers and termites with resistance enhanced through boron salt immersion. Widely used in humid areas, such as bathrooms, cabins and garden furniture. If in contact with ground, only portions in contact require treatment.
Wood Uses
Posts and poles (including electric and telephone), fine furniture components, flamenco guitars, general construction (indoor and outdoor), woodcraft, turnery, pencils, boxes, crates, boatbuilding and marine construction.
Ecological & Social Importance
The seed and leaves are used for medicinal purposes in its native range, for example, to treat scarring of chicken pox and cough. It’s now commonly planted as a Christmas tree locally. Its Latin name is derived from Lusitania, Portugal, where the tree was introduced in the 17th century.
Reference Species
Technical CharacteristicsMexican CypressRed CedarAmerican Elm
Janka Hardnesskgf390408376
Bending Stiffness (Modulus of Elasticity)GPa8.76.19.2
Bending Strength (Modulus of Rupture)MPa76.460.781.4
Crushing StrengthMPa39.041.538.1
Shrinkage, Radial%2.8%3.1%4.2%
Shrinkage, Tangential%5.9%4.7%9.5%
Shrinkage, Volumetric%8.1%7.8%14.6%
T/R Ratio2.11.52.3
Values determined at 12% humidity - Provided for reference only







Values are for reference only and cannot be guaranteed. Wood is a natural material and physical and mechanical properties may vary depending on age, genetics, and other factors. We encourage customers to consult the references provided in the bibliography. For further explanations of wood’s key technical characteristics, an excellent resource is the Wood Database with articles on Density (average dried weight); Janka hardness; Elastic Modulus; Rupture Modulus; Crushing Strength; Radial, Tangential and Volumetric Shrinkage.

ReferencesView Source
“Catálogo virtual de flora del Valle de Aburrá.” Universidad EIA.
Ciprés. "Catalogo de Arboles." Red de Viveros de Biodiversidad (México).
Ciprés. ITTO Lesser Known Species.
Cipres. Laboratorio de Productos Forestales. Universidad Nacional de Colombia. 2018.
Cupressus lusitanica. Cordero, J. Boshier, D. "Arboles de Centroamerica: Un manual para extensionistas." Oxford/Catie. 2003
Cupressus lusitanica. World Agroforestry Centre database
Invasive Species Compendium. CABI.
Mexican Cypress. Wood Technology Transfer Fact Sheets. Forest Products Laboratory. USDA Forest Service.
Moya Roque, R.A. "Tecnología de madera de plantaciones forestales: Fichas Técnicas." Editorial Corporación Garro y Moya. ISBN: 978-9968-9643-3-3. 2010
The Gymnosperm Database
The Wood Database.