The knees do seem to improve anchorage of bald cypress trees in soft, wet soils. A: Although bald cypress does not usually make “knees” in non-swampy soil, it does occasionally happen. Cypress knees, which resemble termite mounds, are growths stemming from the horizontal roots of bald cypress trees that grow in the swamps of the southeastern United States. Q: I love bald cypress trees! If a bald cypress tree is grown in average, well-drained soils away from the swamps or edge of water, these knees never develop. I planted two more in front. You can find them congregating around the trees that grow in spots along Sydnor Lake at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Knees are woody projections from the root system that rise above the water level or ground. They have produced only a few knees. Bald Cypress also form structures called “knees” when growing in swampy areas. They have produced … A bald cypress exhibiting tapered knees. Swamp cypress tree (Taxodium distichum) knees are woody projections that sprout above water level, growing vertically from the knobby roots of bald cypress trees. I have six in my small backyard. Bald cypress knees can sometimes be a problem ajc.com - Walter Reeves. A wood carver named Thomas Gaskins created a method of removing the outer bark of the cypress knees, which makes them smooth enough to use in art and furnishings. Use a sharp pruning saw to make a clean cut at least an inch below the soil surface. Originally thought to provide a source of oxygen for the root system, knees are now thought … A bald cypress, Louisiana's state tree, is more prone to send up knees in moist areas. Because they have a funny habit of tripping people, they must have a sense of humor. Cover once again with soil. Size. Knees are woody projections sent above the normal water level, roughly vertically from the roots, with a near-right-angle bend taking them vertically upward through water. Unlike broadleafed trees, the cypress won’t send up new root sprouts from the wound. Scrape the soil away from the offending knee and down into the earth a few inches.