We’re getting into the festive season early with this week’s blog all about the happy subject of Christmas trees !
Very often in Zimbabwe, the tree we use as a Christmas tree is in fact what is officially known as a Cypress tree. It is a type of coniferous tree imported from the UK, where it was originally bred about 250 years ago and known as the Leyland Cypress. It has been grown very widely in Zimbabwe now for over 120 years.
These trees are the tall evergreen varieties which line streets in many cities, especially Harare. They have fat, fleshy leaves and a wonderful resin aroma, often planted as windbreaks, and are, in fact, a hybrid which has extra values known as “hi-bred vigour “. Most often these trees are sterile and need to be propagated in nurseries.
The wood itself is of medium density, strong, stable and very resistant to local borers and other insects. The reason for this resistance is the fact that they are non-indigenous, and therefore unfamiliar to local bugs to which the strong resin is a natural repellent.
The timber is lovely in colour and texture, ranging from deep yellow to light honey in colour, magnificent with beautiful knots. Most people are unable to tell the difference between this cypress variety and the so-called “Oregon Pine” which was imported from the US many years ago.
This timber makes excellent windows, doors and furniture and is structurally sound. Its’ light coloured wood is an excellent contrast to our wonderful teak. At Teakland, we love it even more, as it is plantation-grown, thus being a quickly renewable resource. What a lovely advantage for a beautiful timber.
Happy Christmas Tree!