Does removing a knee kill or damage a bald cypress tree growing in my yard? The knee was a hazard. Please tell me I haven't killed my tree. It is dropping leaves and small branches and the trunk appears to be slumping. I am beginning to panic every time the wind blows.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
There really is no clear cut answer to this. Based on my research there seems to be division among experts on the issue of whether or not removing knees poses harm to bald cypresses. There is even division on why the knees form in the first place - some say they only form in wet areas while others say the moisture is irrelevant. Is it moist where your tree is? Anyhow, according to the following extension article, "knees were once thought to be important in oxygen exchange for the roots but this notion has been discredited because researchers have cut away knees and trees have suffered no ill effects."
A bald cypress stressed by environmental conditions may respond by shedding its leaves - this is especially true in periods of long drought. I see that portions of Alabama are classified as abnormally dry right now.
For more information on cypress trees, please visit the following link: