When Swamp People‘s Troy Landry isn’t wrestling a 500lb alligator into his boat he spends some of his time trying to round up a different breed of 500lb monsters – cypress logs!
The History Channel has shared a video featuring Louisiana’s “King of the Swamp” searching for old fallen cypress logs left behind by the numerous cypress sawmills that used to populate the swamps of the Bayou State. The trick is to locate the larger logs, Troy explains, which are few and far between because of those numerous sawmills:
“Cypress trees are unique to the swamps. We have millions of cypress trees, but it’s hard to find real good cypress because years ago in this are they had a cypress sawmill on almost every corner – that’s how the people made their living. All the big trees that were out here in the swamp, they cut ‘em all down years ago. But … they’d lose one or they’d leave one here to come back and get it another day, and sometimes they’d never come back and get it. You can find ‘em. They’re far apart, but you can still find some real nice cypress logs in the swamp that was left behind years ago.”
Troy doesn’t just track down the valuable lumber to resell, he often uses it to build things for his own home. “I like to go in the woods and look for old cypress logs, and I’ll pull ‘em out and I’ll get ‘em sawed. I’ll put ‘em in my house or use ‘em for furniture. You can do all kinda tings wid ‘em – entertainment centers, big cypress tables…”
So why is cypress so valuable? Troy explains that “the cypress tree belongs to the redwood family. It don’t decay. It’ll last hundreds of years before it decays.” During the clip he saws off the end of an old fallen cypress log to demonstrate the fact that underneath the weathered exterior the interior of the log is in perfect shape – a metaphor for the people of the swamp he says.
“The heart of it will be there forever,” Troy Landry says of the cypress log. “It’s kinda like the heart of a Cajun in the swamps – it’ll be there forever.”
Want to know more about Troy Landry and his surname-sharing alligator huntin’ cohorts Jacob and Clint Landry? Be sure to check out our profile post on all three!