River Reclaimed Sinker Cypress
The late 1800s and early 1900s saw the beginning of explosive growth and activity in the deep south and the U.S., which created a great need for a durable, versatile, and plentiful building material.
The southern coastal regions of the U.S. happened to be blessed with just such a resource – giant bald cypress. These giants had been growing for hundreds of years – some were over 1,000 years old. They also had a slow growth rate causing them to have tight growth rings and creating an extremely dense and sturdy wood.
Once the bald cypress was harvested, the logs were then tied into rafts and floated to the lumber mills for processing. It was a common sight to see rafts of logs floating along the rivers of the Florida panhandle, sometimes reaching a half-mile long.
Although the plan was always to get all the logs to their ultimate destination, sometimes these hand-cut timbers sank to the bottom of the rivers while in transit, or while they waited for processing in holding ponds. The Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Submerged Lands and Environmental Resources estimates that about 10 percent of these logs were lost before they were able to reach the mills.
These sunken logs came to be known as “sinkers” or “deadheads.” Underwater for up to a century, the bark and sapwood (light-colored wood just under the bark) of the log decomposes, but the inside is perfectly persevered. This interior wood is the “heartwood,” and is prized for its beauty and durability.
As these logs rest at the bottoms of swamps and rivers for decades, they slowly absorb minerals and tannins from the water, and the wood itself will take on a variety of hues. Because the mineral content will vary from one body of water to the next, the colors and shading of the logs become one-of-a-kind works of art.
That’s where we come in. We’ve been in the business of River Reclaimed Sinker Cypress for over two and a half decades, and we’ve become specialists at recovering these sinker logs from the bottom of Northwest Florida and Southern Alabama waterways and swamps.
Using river reclaimed wood helps preserve our forests by utilizing timber harvested hundreds of years ago while also providing a higher quality lumber.
Due to its extreme durability and resistance to rot and pests, Sinker Cypress has found a wide variety of uses, from exterior building applications, to interior paneling, tongue & groove, trim, ceilings, moldings, table tops, and beams.
We’re proud to be able to recover these River Recovered Sinker Cypress logs from the rivers of Northwest Florida and Southern Alabama and give them purpose again.