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