With the expansion of markets for cypress mulch, continued interest in cypress for use in construction and furniture manufacturing, and its prominence as a component of the South’s forested wetlands, it is important to understand the status of this uniquely southern resource. This factsheet is intended to provide a brief regional look at the geographic occurrence and extent of cypress, recent changes in its volume, and general ownership characteristics (public vs. private) in each State. These attributes are useful indicators of future sustainability of this species.
The factsheet utilizes United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data, the most comprehensive and current source of information about the forests of the South. Data presented in it represent “timberland” in the South, distinguished from “forest land” by virtue of its potential availability for future harvest. Forest land, as defined here, contains timberland plus “reserve” acreage. Reserved acreage is that set aside in wilderness or other preserves.
Though there are some differences in the physical characteristics and distribution of baldcypress (Tasodium distichum) and pond cypress (Taxodium distichum var.nutans), their ranges overlap and their product uses are similar. For this reason they have been combined and called “cypress” for the purposes of this factsheet.
Only those sample plots classified as timberland were used as the basis for data provided in this factsheet. Data was retrieved from the USDA Forest Service Mapmaker website using version 3.0 (Miles 2008). Data on area of timberland were based on a cypress-tupelo forest type developed from the addition of two FIA forest-type codes (USDA 2007). These codes were 607 bladcypress/water tupelo and 609 baldcypress/pondcypress. Code 607 captures area with 25-50% stocking of cypress. Code 609 captures area with > 50% stocking of cypress. Data involving inventory volumes of cypress were based upon summations of all individual cypress trees tallied on sample plots regardless of occurrence by forest type.
Data for this South wide summary were based on an aggregation of latest inventory data available for each State and does not reflect the same year in many cases. Trend comparisons were based on similar aggregations of these States’ previous surveys.
The map below depicts the distribution of FIA sample plots that recorded the presence of one or more cypress trees in the tree inventory on forest land in the South. At the time of these mapped occurrences, data were not available for West Texas, part of which is included in the native range of cypress (Burns and Honkala 1990).
Cypress-tupelo timberland is relatively uncommon in the South. This forest type comprises < 2% of the total timberland acreage in 11 of the 13 Southern States. In the two States with the most cypress-tupelo acreage (FL and LA), it comprises < 7% of the total, which is relatively small in comparison to other timberland forest types.
Percent that cypress-tupelo timberland comprises of total timberland within each State
A comparison of the two most recent FIA inventories in each Southern State reveals that cypress-tupelo acreage has declined in 8 of the 13 States, and increased in 3 others. Insufficient information exists in the remaining two States (KY and OK). Decreases were experienced in all four of the States containing the most cypress-tupelo acreage. The largest increases occurred in AR and TX.
Trends in area of cypress-tupelo timberland by State (based on available data) and year
Trends in cypress volume by State (based on available FIA data) and year
Less than 2% of the South’s timberland is in a cypress-tupelo forest type. More than one0half (55.6%) of the 3.3 million acres of cypress-tupelo acreage is located in two States (FL and LA); and nearly two-thirds occurs in three States (FL, LA, and GA). About 95% of the acreage of this type is concentrated in 8 of the 13 Southern States, primarily the Atlantic and Gulf Coast States with the exception being AR.
3.3 million acres of cypress-tupelo timberland in the South percent distribution by State
More than one-half of the South’s cypress volume (55.5%) is found in two States (FL and LA) and more than two-thirds occurs in three States (FL, LA, and GA). About 95% of the cypress volume is concentrated in 8 of the 13 Southern States. These results correspond directly to the distribution of cypress-tupelo type acreage in the Southern United States.
7.3 billion cubic feet of all live cypress volume in the South, percent distribution by State
The volume of cypress exceeds 5% of the total timberland volume in two States (FL and LA) and is 1% or less of total volume in five States.
Percent that all live cypress volume comprises of total volume for all species within each State
A comparison of the two most recent FIA inventories in each Southern State reveals that cypress volume has increased in 8 of the 13 States, and declined in 4. (Note: trend information is not available in OK). Two States experiencing increases followed previous decreases. All changes in cypress volume through time are within the 90% confidence limits, indication that change has not been statistically significant over those periods displayed.
More than three-quarters (77%) of the cypress-tupelo forest-type timberland in the south is privately owned. Differences exist between the public versus private ownership distribution of cypress-tupelo timberland by State. More than one-half (52%) of the privately owned cypress-tupelo timberland acreage occurs in FL and LA, which have nearly equal acreage of privately owned forest of this type. However, FL alone accounts for nearly one-half (49%) of the publicly owned cypress-tupelo acreage in the South. Together with LA, these two States contain almost two-thirds (66%) of the publicly owned cypress-tupelo timberland of the South. (Note: Nominal or unavailable data in some year ownership for KY, VA, and OK limit appearance on some figures.)
Three-fourths of the South’s cypress volume is privately owned. Differences exist between the public vs. private ownership distribution of the total cypress volume on timberland by State. More than one-half (53%) of the privately owned cypress volume occurs in FL and LA. Each State has about one-fourth (24%) or more of the privately owned cypress volume in the Southern United States. (Note: Data for OK is not available.)
While every southern State contains either bald or pond cypress (or both), FL and LA contain the vast share of bother acreage and volume. Changes in Southwide totals will largely be driven by changes occurring in these two States.
Thought the cypress resource has fluctuated in recent years, no State has experienced a statistically significant change (at 90% confidence intervals) in recent surveys.
Regional and statewide totals indicate relative stability of the resource, but data at these scales can mask counter-vailing trends at the sub-regional or sub-State scale.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
JOHN G. GREIS
STATE AND PRIVATE FORESTRY
SOUTHERN REGION: USDA FOREST SERVICE
C/O FLORIDA DIVISION OF FORESTRY
3125 CONNER BLVD.
TALLAHASSEE, FL 32399
PHONE: (850) 309-0764
EMAIL: HYPERLINK "mailto:JGREIS@FS.FED.US"JGREIS@FS.FED.US
MARK J. BROWN, FORESTER
FOREST INVENTORY AND ANALYSIS
SOUTHERN RESEARCH STATION. USDA FOREST SERVICE
4700 OLD KINGSTON PIKE, KNOXVILLE, TN 37919
PHONE: (865) 862-2033 FAX: (865) 862-0262
EMAIL: HYPERLINK "mailto:MBROWN03@FS.FED.US"MBROWN03@FS.FED.US
SOUTHERN FIA: HYPERLINK "HTTP://SRSFIA2FS.FED.US"HTTP://SRSFIA2FS.FED.US