Step 1: Why is Sinker Cypress so special?
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South Louisiana has many cypress trees; however, many of the logs were cut down in neighboring northern states b/c they were easier to access. I couldn't imagine cutting a large cypress tree down in the Louisiana marsh/swamp. The cypress logs were sent down the Mississippi river and many other rivers to float to the city. Occasionally, the butt log would be bacterially infected and would not float down the river to their destination. Often times, these valuable butt logs were treated carefully so that they did not sink to the bottom of the lake or river. (Sinker logs were the largest log from the tree and contained highly valuable lumber; if they sank to the lake or river bottom, it was a lost profit.) Today, we are recovering the cypress wood which has been submerged in cool water absorbing the tannins from the water for a century or more; the lumber they produce is called “sinker cypress.” Some experts estimate nearly 20% of the logs sent downstream sank.
The TV show "Swamp Loggers" follows many professional loggers who retrieve this wood from rivers and lakes all along the gulf coast.
“Pecky” refers to a fungus that causes hollow tubes to run vertically throughout the tree. The fungus grows while the tree is alive and only germinates when the tree is around 125 years old. The fungus dies when the tree dies.