Sinker cypress is know as Dead Head cypress, Old Growth cypress, River recovered cypress, Heart cypress, Reclaimed cypress, Antique cypress or deadhead cypress. Sinker cypress is preferred due to it’s durability, historic significance, green build benefits and the beautiful color varation. All heart cypress provides quality antique lumber that is recognized by the tight growth rings ( 18-35 growth rings per inch) this quality is no longer available in our growing forest today.
This historic quality of sinker cypress is used for many GREEN projects to obtain LEED points for sustainable building construction.
Sinker Cypress History
Sinker cypress is cypress cypress logs that have been submerged in the rivers, bayous,swamps of the southeast region of the U.S. These trees were axe cut during the late 1800’s . many of these logs were axe fallen from virgin forest during the industrial timber harvest from 1880-1920. They were 150-1500 years old at the time of harvest. After the logs were fallen they were hitched to oxen and taken to the rivers for transport to the nearest riverside sawmills.
Logs were chained together to make a raft and were branded by the logging company in order to identify their log claim once the raft arrived at the sawmill.
As the logs floated down the river , many became waterlogged and were caught in a log jam and sank due to these circumstances. The minerals in the water in which the logs rested play a big part in the color of the finished lumber.
These historic logs are sawn into lumber and stacked onto sticks for a period of time depending on the thickness. This process is called air drying and later the lumber is put in a dry kiln to finish the process. If the lumber is going to be dried by a high heat kiln it is recommended to keep the lumber on sticks for a longer period of time in order for the wood to stabilize. The inner moisture level should be close to the outer moisture content. Sinker Treasures dries our deadhead cypress to 10-12% moisture content. Cypress Lumber holds moisture in pockets and if the wood is dried too quickly , it will cause the pockets to explode causing cracks (checking) and end splits. As a rule of thumb air drying sinker cypress takes 1 year per inch thickness of lumber. The key to drying all heart cypress stabilizing the wood while removing the moisture slow and consistently.