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Cypress Trees

The wood of cypress was a very valuable commodity for early settlers in this region. Old-growth cypress wood was easily worked, very valuable, and resistant to rot. Cypress wood was widely used in ...

The wood of cypress was a very valuable commodity for early settlers in this region. Old-growth cypress wood was easily worked, very valuable, and resistant to rot. Cypress wood was widely used in building homes and other structures throughout south Louisiana, and its durability is one of the reasons that south Louisiana retains much of its distinctive early architecture among its homes, churches, and cultural centers.

The vast majority of cypress logging activity occurred between 1889 and 1930, with millions of swamp acres yielding hundreds of millions af harvested board feet for construction Logging was difficult, but loggers were very effective at clearing vast areas of Louisiana swamp land. Many of the swamps now visible in south Louisiana are composed of smaller trees that regenerated after peak logging years.

Throughout Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge you can see remnants of cypress swamps that existed here Logged long ago, all that remains of the original forest in many cases today are stumps and rotting cypress knees, which are part of the root and support structure of the tree, Remnant trees are also sometimes found, but they are almost always hollow, offering strong evidence for why they escaped the saw over a century ago.

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