Macrocarpa is highly sought after as a decorative and building timber and is very durable outdoors, if well pruned.

1860 s

Macrocarpa was introduced to New Zealand and planted mainly as shelter-belts.

Short Facts:

  • can be used both structurally and decoratively
  • strong and long-lasting
  • low to medium-density softwood
  • heartwood naturally durable
  • popular building material since the early 20th century

Botanical name:

Cupressus macrocarpa

Other common names: 

Monterey cypress


  • Macrocarpa timber is a very stable wood that can be easily sawn into quality timber, even in small dimensions.
  • It has a relatively low surface hardness and comparably uniform wood properties that allow small logs and young trees to be sawn to produce quality timber.
  • Macrocarpa has comparably low shrinkage, excellent stability and workability.
  • The trees are more tolerant of wind and salt spray than Radiata Pine and are naturally resistant to rot and insect attack without chemical treatment. Making it one of the most eco-friendly and safest timbers.

Harvest Age:

34 years


  • Heartwood - golden brown and has a speckled luster, which is rare in timber
  • Sapwood - very light brown


If Macrocarpa is planted close enough to each other, therefore almost pruning itself, it will reduce the maintenance time at a later stage of growth. 


The cypresses produce a big number of branches which makes producing clear wood and pruning a bit more challenging.


A few different takes on pruning are used. One of the more cost-effective methods is to prune when the trees are still small and then prune annually e.g. a 4-year-old tree can be pruned to a 4cm gauge, and then as a 5-year-old, pruned to a 5cm gauge.