Wood common name: Antique Heart Cypress; also called original-growth and other terms.

Wood species: Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Age: 500 years and older

Brief historical information: Original-growth Bald Cypress trees are one of the last prehistoric species still standing and are known for their distinctive “knees”, the over-growths from the root system. The Bald Cypress tree commonly lived more 1000 years and towered over 100 feet to produce 100 percent heart wood. Millions of acres of these magnificent trees once covered the coastal Southeast, but were essentially cleared by hand in the 18th and 19th centuries to help build America. Because is it resistant to insects, water and decay, it was often used for boats, houses, dock pilings, flooring and outside furniture. The wood was a favorite of Frank Lloyd Wright and is usually the healthiest wood found when his homes are restored.

Heartwood content: 100 percent

Grain pattern: A combination of subtle swirls and delicate straight grains

Knot content: rare, usually not over 1 ¼”

Growth rings: At least 8 per inch; up to 80

Color: typically honey cinnamon to tans to warm chocolates

Nail holes: some in building reclaimed; none in river reclaimed

Widths available: typically up to 10” in flooring and up to 14” in lumber and even up to 40”

Other characteristics: 690 he Janka scale, comparable to Douglas Fir

Comments: Because of environmental conditions, second growth cypress wood lacks the decay resistance of original growth trees and is substantially less valuable.


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