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Cypress vs. Cedar — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman & Fiza Rafique — Updated on September 12, 2023
Cypress is an evergreen tree often found in Mediterranean and Asian regions, known for its durable, scented wood. Cedar is also an evergreen, primarily native to mountainous regions, and its wood is aromatic and resistant to decay.
Cypress vs. Cedar — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Cypress and Cedar


Key Differences

Cypress is a type of evergreen tree that's typically associated with the Mediterranean region, while Cedar is often linked with mountainous terrains like the Himalayas and the Americas. Both types of trees are known for their aromatic, durable wood, but they thrive in different climates.
Cypress trees are often tall and slender with needle-like leaves, whereas Cedar trees usually have a broader, more conical shape with flat, scale-like leaves. Despite these morphological differences, both are highly valued in construction and carpentry for their wood's resilience.
In the field of aromatherapy, Cypress oil is used for its antiseptic properties, while Cedar oil is commonly used for its calming, grounding effects. Both oils are derived from the trees' respective woods, but they serve distinct purposes in alternative medicine.
In mythology and religious texts, Cypress is often seen as a symbol of mourning and the afterlife, especially in Mediterranean cultures. Cedar, particularly the Lebanon cedar, holds cultural and religious significance in various traditions, including being mentioned multiple times in the Bible.

Comparison Chart

Native Region

Mediterranean, Asia
Mountainous regions, Americas

Leaf Type



Mourning, afterlife
Strength, eternal life

Wood Characteristics

Durable, somewhat aromatic
Aromatic, resistant to decay

Common Uses

Furniture, construction, aromatherapy
Construction, furniture, aromatherapy

Compare with Definitions


Cypress is an evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean.
The Cypress trees lined the Italian countryside.


Cedar is an evergreen tree found in mountainous regions.
The Cedar trees filled the mountainside with a rich aroma.


Cypress wood is known for its durability.
We chose Cypress wood for the deck because of its long-lasting quality.


Cedar has scale-like leaves.
I noticed the Cedar leaves were flat and scale-like.


Cypress oil is used in aromatherapy.
I added some Cypress oil to my diffuser to help me relax.


Cedar holds religious significance in various traditions.
Cedar wood was used in the construction of temples in ancient times.


Cypress has needle-like leaves.
The Cypress leaves were long and thin.


Cedar wood is resistant to decay.
Cedar is commonly used for outdoor furniture.


Cypress symbolizes mourning in some cultures.
Cypress trees are often found in cemeteries in Greece.


Cedar oil has calming properties.
I use Cedar oil in my skincare routine for its calming effects.


Cypress is a common name for various coniferous trees or shrubs of northern temperate regions that belong to the family Cupressaceae. The word cypress is derived from Old French cipres, which was imported from Latin cypressus, the latinisation of the Greek κυπάρισσος (kyparissos).Species that are commonly known as cypresses include: Most prominently: Cypress (multiple species within the genus Cupressus)Otherwise: The family Cupressaceae also contains 13–16 other genera (not listed above) that do not bear cypress in their common names.


Any of a number of conifers which typically yield fragrant, durable timber.


An evergreen coniferous tree with small rounded woody cones and flattened shoots bearing small scale-like leaves.


Any of several Eurasian evergreen coniferous trees of the genus Cedrus in the family Pinaceae, having stiff needles on short shoots and large erect seed cones with broad deciduous scales, and including the cedar of Lebanon.


Any of various evergreen trees or shrubs of the genus Cupressus, native to Eurasia and North America and having opposite, scalelike leaves and globose woody cones.


Any of several other evergreen coniferous trees or shrubs, especially members of the family Cupressaceae such as the Alaska cedar, incense cedar, or red cedar.


Any of several similar or related coniferous trees, such as the bald cypress.


The durable aromatic wood of any of these plants, especially that of the red cedar, often used to make chests.


The wood of any of these trees.


(countable) A coniferous tree of the genus Cedrus in the family Pinaceae.


Cypress branches used as a symbol of mourning.


(countable) A coniferous tree of the family Cupressaceae, especially of the genera Juniperus, Cupressus, Calocedrus, or Thuja.


An evergreen coniferous tree with flattened shoots bearing small scale-like leaves, whose dark foliage is sometimes associated with mourning, in family Cupressaceae, especially the genera Cupressus and Chamaecyparis.


(countable) A flowering tree of the family Meliaceae, especially of the genera Cedrela or Toona.


A coniferous tree of the genus Cupressus. The species are mostly evergreen, and have wood remarkable for its durability.


(uncountable) The aromatic wood from a Cedrus tree, or from any of several not closely related trees.


Wood of any of various cypress trees especially of the genus Cupressus


The name of several evergreen trees. The wood is remarkable for its durability and fragrant odor.


Any of numerous evergreen conifers of the genus Cupressus of north temperate regions having dark scalelike leaves and rounded cones


Of or pertaining to cedar.


Any of numerous trees of the family Cupressaceae that resemble cedars


Durable aromatic wood of any of numerous cedar trees; especially wood of the red cedar often used for cedar chests


Any cedar of the genus Cedrus

Common Curiosities

Is Cypress wood durable?

Yes, Cypress wood is known for its durability.

What is Cedar?

Cedar is an evergreen tree native to mountainous regions and the Americas.

What is Cypress?

Cypress is an evergreen tree commonly found in the Mediterranean and parts of Asia.

Is Cedar wood aromatic?

Yes, Cedar wood is highly aromatic and resistant to decay.

Where is Cypress commonly found?

Cypress is commonly found in Mediterranean regions.

Where is Cedar commonly found?

Cedar is commonly found in mountainous regions like the Himalayas.

Is Cypress used in aromatherapy?

Yes, Cypress oil is used for its antiseptic properties.

Is Cedar used in aromatherapy?

Yes, Cedar oil is known for its calming effects.

What are the leaves of Cypress like?

Cypress leaves are needle-like.

What does Cypress symbolize?

Cypress often symbolizes mourning and the afterlife.

Is Cedar wood expensive?

Cedar wood can be more expensive due to its aromatic and decay-resistant qualities.

What are the leaves of Cedar like?

Cedar leaves are scale-like.

Is Cypress wood expensive?

Cypress wood is moderately priced, often cheaper than Cedar.

Can both Cypress and Cedar be used for construction?

Yes, both are commonly used in construction due to their durability.

What does Cedar symbolize?

Cedar often symbolizes strength and eternal life.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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