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Learn about what we do and our objectives in helping foresters and landowners maintain Louisiana's largest resource. You may also download the 2018 Forest Facts publication.

Frequently Asked Question about Cypress


The cypress tree is our state tree. Do we still have plenty of cypress in Louisiana?

Today, Louisiana cypress forests are growing six times as fast as trees are being harvested (U.S. Forest Service) with 400,000 new cypress trees generated each year. Actually, cypress forests have increased in the past 10 years.

I’ve heard that some cypress trees are dying. Is this true?

Unfortunately, some cypress trees are dying. However, the problems aren’t from harvesting, but primarily through man-made water diversion programs. According to a report by the Coastal Wetland Forest Conservation and Use Science Working Group (SWG), major threats to Louisiana’s cypress forests are primarily due to altered hydrology (flood-control levees along the Mississippi River that reduced freshwater and sediment inputs), land subsidence and canal construction that has led to much greater saltwater intrusion into coastal wetlands.

Should we stop cutting cypress?

Laws are currently in place that prevent cutting in certain areas and sustainable forestry practices are implemented to ensure that Louisiana’s forests will continue to thrive. The timber industry contributes more than $10 billion to the state’s economy, and if Louisiana is to continue to thrive economically, we must manage our forests responsibly.

Who owns most of the cypress forests?

About 80 percent of the forestland in Louisiana is owned by private, non-industrial landowners.

Is the Lake Maurepas area a sensitive area?

There is a prohibition of cutting cypress in areas recognized as state water bottoms. Lake Maurepas is a state water bottom area.

What about environmentalists’ aim to stop the sale of cypress mulch. Is mulch a problem?

Less than 2% of the trees harvested in Louisiana are cypress. Less than 20% of that 2% goes to mulch. Most landowners sell their cypress for higher value products like cypress lumber that is found in homes throughout the state. The by-products from these sawmills should go into other markets like mulch. Otherwise, these operations would have to deal with the disposal of debris in a non-beneficial way.

Is cypress mulch a good choice?

The LSU AgCenter Web site recommends mulching for gardeners due to its durability as a mulching agent. Cypress mulch is just one of many good alternatives.

What action is suggested by the Louisiana Forestry Association?

Learn the facts--landowners, harvesters and producers are committed to the sustainability of the forest resource and to the conservation of critical habitats. The Louisiana Forestry Association works with the Department of Natural Resources and the Department Agriculture & Forestry to map sensitive areas and support continued research to study cypress re-growth.

The numerous forestry experts who work with our non-profit association love our natural environment and work fervently to make certain they continue to thrive.

One of those experts is Buck Vandersteen, Executive Director of the Louisiana Forestry Association. Buck is a professional forester and a member of the Governor’s Advisory Panel to the Science Working Group on Coastal Wetland Forest Conservation and Use. He also serves on the Governor’s Task Forces on Environmental Protection and Preservation, Groundwater, Coastal Wetland Forests and Oversize Vehicles and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in forestry from the University of Massachusetts.

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