The story of the Cyprus Tree
Cyprus Tree or Cypress Tree, Cupressus sempervirens, was the first choice for Iranian Gardens. In all of the famous Persian Gardens, such as Fin Garden, Shazdeh Garden, Dowlat-Abad, and others, this tree plays a central role in their design. The oldest living Cypress is the Sarv-e-Abarkooh in Iran’s Yazd Province. Its age is estimated to be approximately 4,000 years. It is also known for its very durable, scented wood, used most famously for the doors of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City, Rome. Cypress used to be used in distilleries as staves to hold mash ferments to make alcohol before the invention of stainless steel. Commonly seen throughout New Mexico, the Mediterranean Cypress is also known as the “drama tree” because of its tendency to bend with even the slightest of breezes. The tile mural which you see is design with its roots deep in the studios of the Kutahya Armenian potters from where the Balian studio originates. You will see similar murals in the blue mosque and in various palaces in the Middle East.