River and swamp reclaimed wood has been widely used by builders for years for structural purposes like beams because of its strength and resistance to rot and insects. Lately, a demand for its decorative qualities has grown tremendously in homes and commercial building due to its unique character. To appreciate the wood’s value, it is important to know how and why it possesses the beautiful colors and patterns that so many people are requesting.
This wood is known as Sinker Cypress. The origin of the name lies within the wood’s history. Most of the trees were harvested from the early 1800’s - 1930’s and carried via waterways to mills. Some have been dated to be over 1,000 years old at the time the trees were cut. It is estimated that 10% - 20% of them never made it to their destination because they sunk and have remained at the bottom of rivers and swamps for over 200 years where they have been preserved by a lack of light, oxygen and organisms that cause decay and rot. Hence the name Sinker Cypress which is also known by other names such as Deadhead Cypress, New and Old Growth Cypress, and Tidewater Cypress.
Examples of the Different Sinker Cypress - Mossy Head Lumber Company
There are a couple factors that attribute to the beauty and desirability of the Sinker Cypress. Being at the bottom of the rivers for all these years, they have been absorbing the minerals in the water resulting in various colors and patterns in the wood. Another factor is the current of the river causing the logs to tumble on the sandy bottom creates beautiful sculptured edges quite desirable for furniture like dining tables, counter tops, fireplace mantles, etc. Finally, Sinker Cypress is highly desirable for commercial and residential application due to the unparalleled density and durability of the wood.
Pecky Cypress is another grade of river reclaimed wood and is also in huge demand because of its unique pitted surface. This was caused by a fungus that was present in the living tree resulting in the pecks which are revealed when the log is milled. They are also being used in the home and commercial businesses as cabinets, ceilings, floorings and dining room tables where the pecky openings are often embellished with colorful resin fillings that glow in the dark.
River and swamp reclaimed wood literally provides a one-of-a-kind look and is gaining distinction in multitudes of uses. The anticipation of discovering the unique beauty of each Sinker Cypress log as its being milled is thrilling and never ever gets old.
Mossy Head Lumber is a family owned and operated company that specializes in recovering and custom milling river and swamp reclaimed wood. Contact then by phone at (850) 333-9877.