Is it harmful to remove bald cypress knees?

Q: I love bald cypress trees! I have six in my small back yard. They have produced only a few knees. I planted two more in front. They have produced over a hundred knees over the years. I need to replace my driveway so I cut down the offending trees. If I cut off the knees belowground is there a chance they will continue to grow?

A: Cypress knees have been exhaustively researched, but no definitive conclusion has been reached about their function for the tree. Unlike Bradford pear, crapemyrtle, and honey locust, bald cypress does not re-sprout from the roots after it has been cut down. Cut the knees down underground and do what you want thereafter.

What are cypress knees good for?

Removing cypress knees

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