Common Names: Sinker Cypress, River Recovered Cypress

Scientific Name: Taxodium distichum

Origin: North American rivers

Tree Size: 80-100 ft (24-37 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 32 lbs/ft3 (515 kg/m3)

 

Color & Appearance:

The color of Sinker Cypress is dependent on where the logs were harvested. Logs harvested in muddy swamps can have a deep olive hue. Logs found on sandy riverbeds can have a red hue and contain gold color.

Grain &Texture: Sinker Cypress has an extremely tight grain and properties that resist insect pests or decay due to a natural oil present in the wood.

Rot Resistance:

Sinker Cypress has outstanding durability and weathering properties. It is also resistant to insect pests. Wood from younger trees are only slightly less durable.

Workability:

Sinker Cypress works well with both hand tools and machine tools. The wood can have a dulling effect on sharp tools. the wood easily holds nails, glue, paint, and finishing.

Odor:

Sinker Cypress can have distinct sour odor when worked on.

Allergies and Toxicity:

Pricing & Availability:

Sinker Cypress is rare to find, as it has to be extracted from a riverbed. Once the logs are found and recovered, there is a chance that the boards fall apart after being sawn, which can render the boards useless and unsellable, making the usable wood more expensive.

Sustainability:

Sinker Cypress is not listed in the CITES Appendices, and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.

Common Uses:

Due to its natural resistances, Sinker Cypress is great for any outdoor project.

Comments:

Wood of the species Dipteryxodorata is usually called Cumaru among woodworkers, but is sometimes referred to as “Brazilian Teak,” especially when used for hardwood flooring. [Note that Brazilian Teak is not related to the wood most commonly called Teak, Tectonagrandis.] Cumaru also can be called by the name “Tonka Bean.” This tree is often cultivated for the vanilla-cinnamon scented seed (tonka bean) that has a chemical compound called coumarin. Cumaru lumber is exceptionally stiff, hard, and strong, which makes it suitable for a variety of applications. It is sometimes substituted for the scarce wood Lignum Vitae. Cumaru heartwood fluoresces under blacklight, allowing it to be distinguished from Ipe.

Size 1-200 Bft 201-300 Bft 301-500 Bft 501+ Bft
4/4  8.50  8  7  6
5/4 9  8.5 8  7.5
6/4  9.5  9  8.5   8
8/4 10  9.5 9  8.5