What is sinker cypress?

The term "sinker cypress" typically refers to old-growth cypress logs that sunk during the harvesting process.   During the mid to late 19th and early 20th centuries the demand for southern cypress peaked.  This was largely due to the quality of cypress as building material.   Bald cypress, a particular variety of cypress common to region, was (and still is) found in the swamps and waterways throughout many of the southern states.  Loggers floated the newly cut logs out of the swamps on rafts for later transportation to processing centers.  During this process some of the logs became water-logged and sank to the bottom of the rivers and swamps.  These once lost "sinker" logs are now being recovered and used for a variety of building and artistry projects.        

 

What does the term "old-growth" mean?

The term "old-growth" refers not only to the age of a forest, but also describes the natural diversity of the forest habitat.  Cypress trees characterized as old-growth often range from several hundred to over a thousand years old.  Old growth cypress is characterized by its tight growth ring or grain pattern that is a result of an exceptionally slow growth rate. 

 

Why does the color of sinker cypress vary so greatly?

The color of the recovered sinker wood largely depends on where the logs came to rest in the rivers and swamps.  Logs recovered from muddy bottoms often produce darker boards with various shades of brown, gray, and even greens and blue as the predominant colors.  Logs recovered from sandy riverbeds are usually lighter or blond in color, with red and orange highlights.

 

Besides cypress, do you offer paddles made from any other types of wood?

When available we also make paddles from local black walnut and cedar.  Urban trees are harvested for a multitude of reasons that include storm damage, development, and for a variety of safety reasons.  We work with a local tree professional to obtain wood that may otherwise be destined for the landfill.