Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

Is it Legal to Cut Florida Cypress Tree Knees?

...
Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Cypress trees are the most grown, highly flood-tolerant wetland trees in Florida. The trees grow extensively on river and lake banks, and swamps in the state. When growing near water bodies, the trees produce distinct, protruding stumps referred to as knees. Specific Florida laws address the legality of harming these knees.

Legal Issues

It is illegal to cut the knees on cypress trees growing on state land without a state permit, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The knees are widely used for making tables and lamps. Cypress knees are protected under the wetland preservation laws in Florida.

Purpose

Knees are more common on cypress trees that are growing in flooded areas, and possibly help the trees stay stabilized and anchored in muddy ground, according to the University of Florida Extension. Extensions of the tree's root system, knees help to absorb oxygen from the air. The rate of respiration in knees increases with the water level.

Description

The size of cypress knees range from a few inches to up to 12 feet depending on water depth. The bark on the knees is lighter colored than the tree and the wood texture is also softer.

Related Articles

Can Cypress Trees Be Cut in Florida?
Can Cypress Trees Be Cut in Florida?
How to Prune Citrus Trees in Florida
How to Prune Citrus Trees in Florida
How to Plant Bald Cypress Trees
How to Plant Bald Cypress Trees
What Type of Pine Trees Grow in Georgia?
What Type of Pine Trees Grow in Georgia?
Cypress Tree Varieties
Cypress Tree Varieties
How to Grow Cypress Trees from Cypress Balls
How to Grow Cypress Trees from Cypress Balls
How Fast Do Cypress Trees Grow?
How Fast Do Cypress Trees Grow?
How to Plant Cypress Tree Seeds
How to Plant Cypress Tree Seeds
What Are the Characteristics of a Cypress Tree?
What Are the Characteristics of a Cypress Tree?
How to Grow a Key Lime Tree in Florida
How to Grow a Key Lime Tree in Florida
Kinds of Cypress Trees
Kinds of Cypress Trees
Can I Grow Avocados in Midwest Illinois?
Can I Grow Avocados in Midwest Illinois?
Softwood Trees in Ohio
Softwood Trees in Ohio
How Far to Plant Leyland Cypress From a Driveway?
How Far to Plant Leyland Cypress From a Driveway?
Why Don't Termites Eat Cypress?
Why Don't Termites Eat Cypress?
Garden Guides
×