|Virgin Cypress - Centennials of the Swamp
|Here is Harvey Stern who came out in my area
to measure some of my trees at work. It kind of
gives you a perspective of their size. I was quite
impressed with his fearlessness. He got out in
the swamp in only shorts and tennis shoes to do
his work. He has a site with a registry of trees
that were around at the time of the signing of the
Louisiana Purchase from all over the state.
Check it out at www.lapurchasecypresslegacy.net
This page is dedicated to what is
probably my favorite part of the swamp,
the virgin Cypress trees. The Bald
Cypress is the state tree of Louisiana.
They are related to the Sequoia and the
Redwood and can live to be over 1000
years old. Bald Cypress was logged in
the area from the 1890's to the mid
1930's. It was used to build everything
from houses and ships to cisterns, roof
shingles and gutters. Cypress was prized
because it is rot and termite resistant, at
least the virgin cypress was. Second
growth cypress, sometimes called "grow
back cypress" doesn't have the same
qualities. Only a few of these Kings
remain and the ones left were left only
because they were hollow and weren't
worth cutting down. These trees are
used by many different types of wildlife.
The Bald Eagles build their nest on their
tops, the wood ducks, barred owls and
many other birds nest in the holes.
Raccoons and other critters take shelter
in them and the Louisiana Black Bear
hibernate in them.
These cypress were around when
Columbus discovered America. They
watched over the native peoples that
gently lived in harmony with nature.
They witnessed Spanish explorers
coming into the area and experienced
the influx of exiled Acadians making a
new start here and living off the land.
Some probably took a bullet or two for a
Civil War soldier. We shall never see a
forest of virgin cypress in our lifetime.
Most of the trees are only about 100
years old and are what grew back after
the logging days. I intend to do a registry
of as many of these giants in my area as
possible. I hope to include pictures,
measurements and GPS coordinates.
Come out and witness first hand the
awesome power of these Centennials of
Attakapas Adventures Swamp Tours
Here we are after crossing a pull boat run to
measure a giant. It was 23' in circumference!
It's gonna be hard work, but I'll enjoy every
second of it.
*I am happy to report that WalMart has decided to stop
selling cypress mulch from Louisiana January 1, 2008. This
is a huge step toward saving our cypress forest for future
generations as well as our protection from hurricanes.