Virtual Tour


These stubby projections are called the "knees" of the bald cypress tree. Bald cypresses grow where the soil is always wet (ours is growing next to a small pond), so people think that the knees are growths on the roots that help the "drowning" roots get oxygen. But some scientists aren't convinced this is why the tree has knees. I guess we won't know for sure until one of you becomes a scientist and studies this tree!

tree knees

Bonus fact:
The bald cypress is a conifer—like a pine tree, it produces cones. Most conifers are evergreen, meaning they keep their leaves—or needles—all year long. The bald cypress is unusual, though. It drops its needles during the winter. Then every spring it grows new leaves that are the most beautiful light green color—and they're soft!

How to find the bald cypress at the Arboretum:
Looking at the Gotelli Dwarf and Slow Growing Conifer Collection sign, turn right on the road and follow it until it bends to the left. You'll see the bald cypress next to the small pond on the left.

Scientific name for bald cypress: Taxodium distichum

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Last Updated   July 10, 2009 10:03 AM