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  1. I would like to copy the photo of the picture of the Dawn Redwood with the trunk and highly raised roots. Do these trees have ‘knees’?

    • Dr. Richard Bitner’s response:
      The DAWN REDWOOD (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) mentioned in the recent Gardening Journey does not form “knees”. The knees, known botanically as pneumatophores, are formed by our south-eastern native BALD CYPRESS (Taxodium disticum). It is found in swamps from the coastal plain of Delaware south but can be planted in our area. It is also deciduous like the dawn redwood, and has similar looking ferny leaves but they are arranged alternately along the stems and they turn a russet color in the fall. Bald Cypress will grow in very wet conditions, even standing water part of the year. The trunk is straight and buttressed at the base, but never as dramatically as the dawn redwood. Although it will also tolerate dry situations, when it is growing near water it will form the “knees” which are actually originating from the roots and are thought to help anchor the tree. It can reach 50 feet in our gardens and live for hundreds of years. The wood is very durable and is used for construction of objects that will be exposed to water: boats, docks, greenhouses and left-over scraps are great for making birdhouses. There are quite a few dwarf cultivars that are nice in mixed borders, but they won’t form any knees.