White Cypress Pine

Description

Common names

White Cypress Pine, Murray Pine, Native Pine, White Cypress, White Cypress Or White Pine, White Cypress-pine, White Pine.

Scientific names

Callitris glaucophylla, Callitris columellaris.

Family

Cupressaceae.

Genus

Callitris.

Name origin

Glaucophylla, from Greek glaucos, silvery or bluish-green, and phyllon, leaf, referring to bluish foliage.

Rainfall

350mm.

Growth rate

Slow.

Growth height

Up to 20m.

Presence in Australia

Widespread in drier country west of Hume Highway. Also noted in Mullengandra, Four Mile and Livingstone areas.

This specie has been identified in the following Australian states: Qld, NSW, Vic, SA, NT, WA.

Habitat

Mostly sandy soils. From isolated individuals to extensive forests, especially in inland districts.

Habit

Tree to 20m high, with single trunk. Bluish-grey foliage and rough, deeply furrowed bark.

Similar species

Distinguished from Black Cypress Pine (C. endlicheri) by its cones and bluish foliage (Black Cypress Pine typically has greener foliage). Triangular pyramid or single column emerging from base of inside of fruit, while Black Cypress Pine has three segments in fruit.

Site preference

Well-drained soil. Tolerates extended dry periods and frost.

Characteristics

Hardy. Young plants sensitive to fire, although older trees more tolerant. Relatively slow to mature, but long-lived.

Seed collection

Late Nov to late Apr. Requires close monitoring as seeds released 3-8 weeks after maturity. Cones easily collected from outer foliage using secateurs (each cone contains about 20 seeds). Good seed crops generally produced every 3 years on trees over 40 years old. Refrigerate stored seeds.

Propagation

From seed (±20 viable seeds per gram) sown around Sep for intended autumn planting, or during summer for autumn planting the following year, if better developed trees are preferred. Cover seeds with about 5 mm potting mix. Some growers recommend stratifying seeds in freezer for 2 weeks prior sowing.

Regeneration

From seed. Seedlings extremely palatable to livestock and rabbits, hence fencing required to encourage regeneration. Establishes reasonably well when direct seeded.

Shade and shelter

Useful long-lived medium-level cover in windbreaks, providing shelter virtually to ground-level.

Fuel

Good fuel. Splits and ignites readily. Fragrant when burned.

Timber

Highly valued for resistance to decay in ground, termite resistance and very small shrinkage on seasoning. Saws and nails well when freshly felled. Largely used for building scantlings, flooring, linings and weatherboards, with small-diameter round material used for fencing and small poles. Useful timber for bottom boards of beehives in contact with ground. Timber usually light coloured, although sometimes dark brown, of moderate weight. Tends to be brittle. Finely and evenly textured, straight-grained, aromatic and often knotty. Knots tightly held, and sometimes regarded as feature in polished surfaces.

Wildlife

Mature trees, particularly when growing with Bulloak (Allocasuarina luehmannii) and Grey Box (Eucalyptus microcarpa), important habitat for Grey-crowned Babbler and Apostlebird, which forage in foliage and on ground nearby. Thick fibrous bark supports abundant supply of grubs and insects not found in such quantities in eucalypts. Wide range of other insect-eating birds forage in trees. Parrots and cockatoos feed on seed-bearing cones.

Koori

Along Murray River, resin provided waterproof adhesive, and wood used for making implements including woomeras, canoe poles and spear shafts. Leaves contain pinene, an antiseptic oil. Leaves smoked over fire or soaked to make a wash, or mixed with fat to make ointment for colds.

Ornamental

Attractive for parks, gardens and avenues, and tubs.

Other

Pollen yielded in useful quantities, and benefits bees.