Sinker Cypress

This stuff doesn’t grow on trees anymore…

Sinker Cypress is one of the most stunning and beautiful woods that we have the honor to reclaim and custom mill for our clients. The rich color of Sinker Cypress ranges from a deep honeycomb gold to a dark olive green depending on the water regions from which the logs are found. Sinker Cypress, which is also known as Sinker Bald Cypress, Deadhead Cypress, Heart Cypress, River Recovered Cypress, Reclaimed Cypress or Salvaged Cypress, are harvested trees that sank as they were floating down the rivers in log rafts to the nearest sawmills. Historians estimate that anywhere from 10% to 20% of the logged virgin growth Bald Cypress trees sank in route to the sawmills on the rivers. Most of the Sinker Cypress logs that we are salvaging out of the southeastern region of North America have been under water and preserved for the past 80 to 130 years since they were heavily logged during the second Industrial Revolution from 1880 – 1930. Wood Science researchers have completed radiocarbon dating studies on Sinker Cypress logs that have dated them as far back as 30,000 years. These ancient logs likely blew down millenniums ago in gale force hurricanes and have been preserved underwater ever since. This incredible self-preservation is a testament to the durability and resiliency found in Sinker Cypress heartwood lumber. The heartwood of Sinker Cypress contains an oil called Cypressene. The highest concentrations of Cypressene are found in the old growth Sinker Cypress logs. This oil creates a natural preservative within the heartwood making Sinker Cypress one of the most rot resistant and insect resistant woods found anywhere in the world.

  • Stunning deep rich colors from a golden honeycomb gold to a dark olive green hues from aging underwater for the past century

  • Clear Vertical Grain “select” grade material is ideal for contemporary modern home interiors & exteriors

  • Rich in history and character

One of the river loggers we work with said it best, “This stuff doesn’t grow on trees anymore”. He’s absolutely right. The color and density of grain found in the heartwood of Sinker Cypress cannot be replicated from the existing 2nd and 3rd growth stands of Bald Cypress currently harvested in the United States today. As Sinker Cypress logs lay on the swamp and riverbed floors aging over the course of a century or more, the wood fiber starts to absorb the minerals and tannins found in the surrounding water creating colors that are breathtaking. If the logs came to rest on muddy river bottoms, the natural golden colors can start shading to hues of olive green. If the logs have been residing on sandy bottoms of water, you can find hues of red or deep rich colors of gold found in the lumber. It is also common to find Sinker Cypress logs that have 40 – 50 growth rings per inch creating a density of grain that is extremely tight. Many of these old growth trees were 1000 – 1800 years old before they were harvested. This old growth grain not only creates an unparalleled stability in the wood, but it also produces an appearance in the finished lumber that is one of a kind. Sinker Cypress is an excellent option for interior paneling and ceiling decking as well as for exterior siding, soffit, trim, doors & windows. It can also be structurally graded for rafters, beam & post applications. The clear “Select” grade of Sinker Cypress is ideal for contemporary modern home designs. The #1 or #2 Common grades which allow for more character such as knots or light peck, are suitable for the more rustic or “mountain” style home.

 

One of the most rot resistant and insect resistant woods found anywhere in the world.

There is also a unique grade of Sinker Cypress called Pecky Cypress which is caused by a fungus while the tree is still alive. This rare fungus takes on the role of an artisan sculptor that produces narrow oval shaped carvings or pocket recesses within the growth rings of tree while it is growing. When these Pecky Cypress logs are milled, the pecky lumber produced has a natural distressed look created by the peck within the wood fiber. The fungus completely disappears once the trees are harvested leaving behind only its life’s work sculpted into the wood. Pecky Cypress produces beautiful paneling and ceiling decking for interior finishes where a rustic look is desired.

We are continually surprised and captivated by the beauty of this wood and how nature takes its course to preserve and enhance the character and color of Sinker Cypress over time. With every log that we split open, we never know exactly what we are going to find inside as far as grain & color. It’s like unwrapping a present not knowing what you are going to find inside. We find more often than not that our clients choose to finish their Sinker Cypress material with a clear stain or sealer to simply enhance the natural colors of the material. We hope you love Sinker Cypress as much as we do.

 

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