We recently returned from our traditional mud-season vacation. This year we spent it in the South.
Typically I couldn't help myself and felt compelled to explore rural nooks and crannies until I ferreted out some new wood
sources. One of these sources can supply us with "Pecky Cypress" lumber, which is extremely popular down south for natural and
pickled wall and ceiling paneling. I have some samples of pecky cypress at our shop and would like to see if we can generate some
interest in that product. Consequently, I would like to partially repeat last August's issue of Splendid Splinters, which
explained that unlike "Buggy Butternut", and "Wormy Chestnut", bugs do not cause the long worm-like holes in this wood.
"Pecky cypress" or "peckiness" occurs in the bald cypress tree
(Taxodium Distichum (L.) Rich.) and it is
the fungus Stereum Taxodii that causes this brown "pocket rot". The fungus usually enters the crown and slowly works down through
the heartwood to the base of the tree. Once it is felled and sawed out, all fungal activity stops. As long as there is enough
wood in between the pockets for strength, there is no utilization problem. The pockets are finger-sized and run with the grain
for a distance of 6" to a foot or more. At its early stage the "pecks" are only faintly discolored but eventually become dark
"friable" masses of decayed wood.