Cypress Knees

weed_cutterOctober 23, 2006

Newer house now with a nice back yard on a creek, majestic cypress tree.

No way am I going to bend a LB crank on those knees though. Anybody know how to get rid of those things? So far I have beat them with a pick axe, then developed a shovel and sawzall technique but there must be some other way to get them out of the ground. Thanks.

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walt2002

Move.

Walt Conner

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 8:47AM
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pete_p_ny(10536)

Lets see a picture...what the heck is a cypress knee? Assuming it is a root? Rent a stump grinder from Home Depot and grind them out. Or, remove grass and place mulch around the tree and do not mow there anymore.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 9:32AM
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roadbike

A quarter stick of dynamite should do the trick. Or a ripper bar on the back end of a D9 Cat.

It sounds like you are pretty close to water level with several cypress trees in the area. You should have the trees taken out and the or the problem will just recur. Then go through and pay someone to dig the roots out.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 11:38AM
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greatlakesmower(5)

I am no arborist, but I'm going to take a shot at saying the Cyprus needs those knees to survive. It is the tree's way of getting air to the roots that are normally below the water line. If the tree is something you want to keep (you mentioned majestic), do you need a cultivated lawn around the knees?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 1:50PM
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walt2002

"Cyprus needs those knees to survive. It is the tree's way of getting air to the roots that are normally below the water line. "

Right.

Walt Conner

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 9:28PM
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roadbike

This information about the function of cypress knees comes from our friends at wikipedia.

In the biology of trees, a cypress knee is a distinctive structure in a root of a cypress tree of any of various species of the subfamily Taxodioideae. Their function is unknown, but they are generally seen in swamps.

Knees are woody projections sent above the normal water level, roughly horizontally from the roots, with a near-right-angle bend taking them roughly vertically downward into soil, usually passing through water first. One rather popular view of their function is that they provide oxygen to the roots that grow in the low dissolved oxygen (DO) waters typical of a swamp (see also mangroves, which have similar adaptations). However, there is little evidence for this; in fact, swamp-dwelling specimens whose knees are removed continue to thrive.

Another more likely function is that of structural support and stabilization. Lowland or swamp-grown cypresses found in flooded or flood-prone areas tend to be buttressed and "kneed," as opposed to cypresses grown on higher ground which may grow with very little taper.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 8:43AM
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