How to get rid of cypress tree knees

Will removing 'knees' injure a bald cypress tree?

Bald cypress trees stretch toward the sky along the Post Oak Trail at the Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens in Humble.E. Joseph Deering/Chronicle

Q: Four bald cypresses send up "knees" in my lawn. The knees make it difficult to mow the grass. Should I cut them off? Will that hurt the trees? Is it better to leave them alone and plant something other than grass around them? - D.H., Montgomery

A: Answers vary among tree experts. A bald cypress, Louisiana's state tree, is more prone to send up knees in moist areas. According to LSU horticulturists, you can carefully remove the knees without harming the tree: Dig a small area to expose the knee a few inches below the soil level. With a clean, sharp knife or saw, cut the knee off horizontally, 1 to 2 inches below the soil level. Refill the area.

Texas Forest Service's Mickey Merritt assesses knee removal as he does root removal. "It depends on the size of the root that will be cut, how many will be removed and the distance from the tree," he says.

Merritt has removed small knees as they developed from a 35-foot-tall cypress in his front yard. These have been about 60 feet away from the tree, well beyond the critical root zone. (The critical root zone is a circular area with a radius of 12 inches to every inch diameter of trunk, taken at 4 1/2 feet above the soil level.)

If there are a lot of knees. he suggests removing them over a couple of years and, if possible, staying out of the critical root zone. If this is not possible, it's important to make clean, smooth cuts and not chop, rip or pull the knees.

Some gardeners do give up the lawn and add other plants - or just mulch the area.

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Trees for Houston's Matt Weaver does not recommend removing cypress knees. He says even though bald cypresses are tough and usually tolerate this practice, it will stress the trees like any mechanical damage.

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  1. Debunked: Social media twisted friend's date into Texas man being put in the ultimate 'friend zone'
  2. Houston Police union president says pro-Hidalgo constable 'not a real police officer'
  3. How do the Houston Astros perform in series-clinching games?
  4. Multiple sources accuse former Katy ISD football coach of misconduct, report says
  5. The ground is sinking fast in some of Houston's richest suburbs
  6. Texas oil billionaires invest big in Lina Hidalgo's challenger
  7. Carlos Correa interviews Jeremy Peña after Game 2 win over Seattle

How to kill a Cypress tree

Table of Contents

Cypress or Cupressaceae trees are native species in North American, known for their fast growth and resilient nature. Because of their short needles and feathery appearance, Cypress is a great choice for landscaping. It can withstand pretty harsh conditions once they reach maturity.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways to remove your cypresses as well as kill their root system.

How to kill Cypress trees?

When it comes to killing Cypress or Cupressaceae trees, you can choose from a variety of options. Each of them has its pros and cons both in terms of cost and efficiency. Let’s take a look at some of these methods.

  1. Foliar Spray: This method is most suitable for trees that are under 15 feet (5 meters) tall. Simply spray the foliage with a selective weed killer. Make sure there is no wind that day as the herbicide can be carried far away.
  2. Cutting the tree down and treating the stump with Herbicides: This tree killing method is one of the oldest and most used one. Once you cut the tree down, there is a chance it might sprout back. Treating it with herbicides will prevent the tree’s further growth.
  3. Gridling or ring barking: You simply have to remove a strip of bark throughout the circumference of the tree and treat it with an herbicide. Make sure the strip of bark is at least 4-6 inches wide. This will stop any nutrients from travelling across the tree.
  4. Basal Bark treatment: Spray the bottom 20 inches of the tree with a chemical like Garlon XRT or Triclopyr. The chemical will absorb within the bark and effectively kill the tree.
  5. Injecting the tree with killing chemicals: You will need to drill 2 inches (4 cm) deep holes along the circumference of the tree at a downward angle. After drilling the holes, simply spray or squeeze in herbicides into the holes.
  6. Cut surface treatment: Make the cuts every 2-3 inches of the circumference. The cuts have to be deep enough to expose the inner white surface. Then spray the cuts with a chemical like Tordon or Roundup.

It should be noted that even though any of the above methods can be used to kill a Cupressaceae tree even while standing, it will still have to be taken down and dealt with later on.

The best way to kill a small Cypress tree

Some methods are preferable for killing small Cupressaceae trees as they are more efficient and cost-effective. Besides removing the tree right away, the Foliar Spray method would be most suitable here.

  1. Make sure there is no wind during this as the herbicide can get carried away.
  2. Use an effective herbicide like Roundup or Ohto. (can be sound on my recommended procucts page here)
  3. Spray the foliage of the Cypress with the herbicide.

The herbicide will be absorbed by the leaves and transported to the roots, effectively killing the tree over time. In most cases, depending on the size of the tree, this method requires multiple treatments.

The most effective season to use this method is summer and spring as the foliage cover is high.

The best way to kill a big Cypress tree

A mature Cupressaceae can grow up to be around 80 feet tall, therefore you will have to look for a killing method that is both fast and easy.

Ringbarking would be the easiest and the most efficient method for killing a large Cypress or Cupressaceae as it will stop the nutrient flow from the roots to the stems and leaves, killing the tree over time.

  1. You will need to either get a hatchet, hammer and chisel or chainsaw for this method.
  2. Simply remove a ring of bark around the entire tree, about 4-8 inches wide.
  3. For extra measure, spray some herbicide on the exposed area.

You can use this method without using an herbicide but there is a chance that the tree survives the ringbarking process.

This method is also preferred if you want to use the Cypress as firewood because after ringbarking the tree will slowly start to lose moisture while still standing. Low moisture content is essential to use a tree as firewood, and seasoning before cutting a tree down helps to save room and time.

Killing a small Cypress compared to a big Cypress – What are the differences?

Some methods of killing trees might just not work with larger trees. One such example is the foliar spray. This method works best when the distance from the foliage to the roots is less. This makes transporting the herbicides and chemicals to the roots faster and easier.

The other major difference is the time taken no matter which method you use. If you use ringbarking for both sizes, the smaller Cupressaceae will die much faster. With the bigger tree, you will have to be more patient.

One unique thing about the Cupressaceae is that they tend to develop ‘knees’ when they mature. These are protruding roots that can grow up to about 6 feet in height. When removing the Cupressaceae, cutting down these extra parts can be quite tedious.

Can you kill a Cypress without cutting it down?

Cypress or Cupressaceae can be killed without cutting them down. The preferred methods for doing so would be ringbarking, basal bark treatment, or cut surface treatment. These methods are not only effective but cheap at the same time.

You have to consider the fact that once the tree is dead, it will start decomposing over time and it can fall on nearby property.

Hire a professional tree removal service

Hiring a professional for removing a Cupressaceae tree has its own benefits. You won’t have to worry about the cutting and transporting procedure once the tree is dead. A professional can also take care of the ‘knees’ which Cupressaceae tend to develop. These issues might not be as big if the tree is small but for large Cypresses, it can be quite tricky.

On top of this, the cost factor also plays an important role. Figuring out all of these separate logistical details can turn out to be quite costly.

Take a look at my tree removal cost article here.

Things to consider while removing a tree on your own

If you are not experienced with killing or removing trees, there are some unexpected challenges that can come your way. Large Cupressaceae trees will start decomposing once they have been killed, which increases their chance of falling down. This can be a hazard if the tree is located near your house or near power lines.

One more thing to keep in mind here is the ‘knees’ which I previously mentioned. These parts of the tree can be quite a nuisance, they protrude out of the surface and can’t simply be cut down. You have to kill the entire root system to effectively get rid of the tree.

The root system will be killed by treating the tree with herbicide in the removal process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you kill a Cypress tree with vinegar?

Although Vinegar is harmful to most plants and trees and it can effectively kill grass, it won’t be as effective in killing an already established Cupressaceae. Undiluted white vinegar with salt can be used to prevent shoot and stump growth. The use of a chemical herbicide is more efficient.

Can you kill a Cypress tree with diesel?

Yes! Diesel can be used to stop any tree from growing, including cypress. Diesel can even kill trees if it is poured directly into drilled holes, on the stump, or on the roots. Diesel will also contaminate the nearby soil by killing other plants as well.

Can you kill a Cypress tree by directly attacking its ‘knees’?

The ‘knees’ are protruding root systems of the tree, so if you use removing methods listed in this article, herbicides used to treat the tree would directly travel within the root system and effectively kill the tree.


There are a number of ways of killing Cypress or Cupressaceae trees, the easiest method for small trees is considered to be foliar spray while for bigger trees you should stick to girdling and treating the area with herbicide.

Recommended reading:

  • How to kill Elderberry trees


I am the guy behind I grew up on a homestead and I am here to share the knowledge I have and things I learn while living in the countryside.

How to strengthen joints, what vitamins are needed?

March 23 2022

With age, every person has joint problems. For some they are more pronounced, for others they are less. In any case, the joints must be supported. And for this they use special sets of exercises, as well as take vitamins and minerals. Such measures will help reduce the risk of diseases of the bones and ligaments. The online store offers to buy vitamin and mineral complexes. We always have affordable prices and convenient payment methods. If necessary, the consultant will help you make the right choice.

What a joint is made of

Joints are made up of several elements. The surface of the joints is covered with hyaline cartilage, there is also an articular capsule and a cavity that contains fluid. There are additional elements in the form of ligaments - they cover the joint capsules.

Joint mobility largely depends on physical activity and sports. But if you exert an excessive load, creaks and crunches may occur, which often indicate thinning of cartilage tissues.

How to get rid of crunchy joints

Why do bones crunch? There can be many reasons - from natural processes to serious diseases. In order for the joints to always remain healthy, for preventive purposes, experts recommend alternating physical activity and rest - this will not allow joint fluid to stagnate. Get rid of the crunch of bones will help.

  1. Physical activity. Inactivity negatively affects the state of the entire musculoskeletal system.
  2. Weight normalization. If there is excess weight, it is necessary to get rid of it in order to relieve the load from the joints.
  3. Proper nutrition. If your joints are cracking, experts recommend a low-carbohydrate diet. It is desirable to include jelly in the diet, sinewy meat - natural sources of collagen.

It is also necessary to observe the drinking regime, to prevent dehydration of the body.

Joint exercises

How to get rid of crunch in the knees, elbows? Many complexes have been developed for joint health. Here is some of them.

  • Sitting walking. To do this, sit on a chair with your feet straight. Next, roll your feet from toes to heels. At the same time, you can perform a light massage of the knees - stroke them, this will improve blood circulation and help warm up the ankle.
  • Study of the shoulder joints. Don't underestimate circular motions with your hands. They are very useful and help improve blood flow.
  • Study of the elbow joints. Stand up straight or sit on a chair. Stretch your arms along the body, then begin to bend and unbend them at the elbows.

These simple exercises will help keep your joints healthy.

Vitamins for bones, joints and ligaments

Our bones, joints and ligaments, like the rest of the body, need vitamins and minerals. For example, vitamin C is an important antioxidant that is widely used in the field of orthopedics. Current research into vitamin C is investigating the molecule's role in bone and tendon physiology, as well as joint replacement and postoperative pain. Most laboratory and human studies link vitamin C use to improved bone health and tendon healing. The literature is moderately supportive of the use of vitamin C to improve functional outcomes, reduce postoperative pain, and prevent complex regional pain after orthopedic procedures. The perioperative use of vitamin C in patients undergoing joint replacement surgery and anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction is still under study. High-quality human trials are needed to confirm whether vitamin C can enhance the results of orthopedic procedures and to determine the optimal dosage and routes of administration to maximize the intended benefits.

One of the most important vitamins for bones is calcium, which makes them denser and stronger. Low bone density can cause your bones to become brittle and brittle. Weak bones are easier to break, even without visible injury. The catalog of the online store includes such manufacturers: Source Naturals, Country Life, Rainbow Light and so on.

Well, in order for calcium to be absorbed, it is imperative to take vitamin D along with it. Nature's Plus, Healthy Origins, Carlson Labs products will do. Among other useful vitamins, the following should be highlighted:

  1. Vitamins of group E. Actively participates in the synthesis of elastane, which increases the elasticity of cartilage. Natural Factors, Carlson Labs, arrow Formulas.
  2. Vitamins of group B. Normalize water-salt metabolism, help to assimilate minerals. Manufacturers: Source Naturals, Now Foods, Thompson.
  3. Omega-3 fatty acids. Indispensable for high-quality synthesis and work of ligaments, cartilage. Country Life, Natrol, Jarrow Formulas - there are a lot of manufacturers of fatty acids.

For joints, vitamins are available in different forms for ease of administration. It can be syrups, suspensions, tablets, dragees, lozenges, soluble powders and other forms of release.

It is extremely important that all the necessary vitamins, trace elements and acids enter the body in the right amount. This helps to strengthen the joints and articular surfaces, normalizes the sliding between them and ensures bone health for many years. Before you start taking any drug or supplement, you should consult with your doctor, because self-medication can be hazardous to health.

You can purchase the listed products, as well as products from other well-known manufacturers, on the website of the online store Affordable prices apply. Delivery is carried out anywhere in the country.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a guide to action.

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Feet in hand - and forward! - Pharmacy and Medicine

It turns out that every day a modern girl, leading an active lifestyle, makes about 6000 steps! It is especially difficult for passionate fans of heels. At the end of the day, they are overcome by discomfort in their legs, which is a completely natural consequence of such a load. But often the cause of tingling, heaviness, swelling of the legs and their cramps in the evenings is obstructed venous circulation.

Veins dilate, blood stagnates, water and toxins accumulate in surrounding tissues. Often, venous insufficiency is hereditary and manifests itself with age due to hormonal changes, weight gain, malnutrition, or a sedentary lifestyle. To solve the problem, it is important to act comprehensively.

Strengthen your leg muscles

If the muscles are weakened, the veins expand. And vice versa - muscles in good shape reduce the diameter of the veins. Nothing strengthens the veins and relieves heaviness from the legs like physical activity - walking, swimming, cycling.

Use venotonics

With extracts of ginkgo dicotyledonous, horse chestnut, red grape leaves and cypress, these products are designed to tone the veins. Plant extracts are also found in a wide variety of dietary supplements. Of course, they cannot affect the diameter of the veins, much less cure varicose veins, but they can increase blood flow and bring relief to tired legs. Just do not rush into the pool with your head and at the same time use as many funds as possible. It is better to choose one permanent "partner" and conduct a course of treatment.

Apply gel for tired legs

These "rescuers" contain refreshing menthol and extracts of venotonic plants (melilot, hazel, arnica). They enhance the effect of medications and quickly bring relief. Apply the cream on the lower extremities in the morning after a shower, massaging from the foot to the knee. Do several repetitions throughout the day. By the way, transparent gels can be applied directly to tights.

Wear compression stockings

They are recommended by phlebologists for heavy loads, swelling of the legs or during pregnancy. Compression reduces pressure on the foot and lower leg and combats varicose veins. It is best to pick up compression products in a pharmacy. To get the desired result, it is important to correctly determine the size. You need to put on tights or stockings in a prone position, slightly raising your legs.

Do vascular exercises

Its task is to facilitate venous blood flow. One of the most effective exercises is to raise your foot at a 45-degree angle to your ankle. Standing on your heels, put your toes on a stand (you can use a book) about 10 cm high. Watch your posture - your back should be straight! Lock this pose for a few seconds.

Eat right

To have beautiful and healthy legs, it is important to follow the principles of a balanced diet (15% protein, 35% fat, 50% carbohydrates). Include vitamin E regularly in your menu. This powerful antioxidant helps thin the blood and reduces the risk of thrombosis. Most vitamin E is found in nuts (almonds, hazelnuts) and vegetable oils (rapeseed, sunflower, olive, wheat germ).
Load up on flavonoids. These substances from the polyphenol family fight inflammation, thin the blood, constrict veins and strengthen the walls of blood vessels. They can be found in grapes, blackcurrants, raspberries, fruit peels, cabbage, turnips, parsley, broccoli, tea.
Potassium has a drainage effect. Thanks to him, it will be possible to avoid the accumulation of salt and edema. It is found in dried apricots, almonds, artichokes, asparagus, bananas, spinach, fennel, poultry liver, grapefruits, pears, pistachios, apples.
Vitamin C is needed for the production of collagen and for strengthening the walls of blood vessels. Look for it in fresh vegetables and fruits.

Practice Massage

At the end of the day, after a long car ride, train ride or flight, if you feel heaviness and swelling in your lower limbs, massage them with a "tired leg" product. These drugs have a dual effect. First, they are refreshed thanks to the menthol, lemon and camphor included in the composition. Then relieve discomfort in the legs with herbal extracts that have a draining effect and weaken blood flow (medicinal chamomile, grape seeds, Indian chestnut). Apply funds with light massage movements from the bottom up - from the feet to the hips. For a more intense feeling of freshness, you can cool the gel in the refrigerator.
To stimulate the lymphatic system and improve blood circulation, start with stroking movements on the outer and inner surfaces of the legs in the direction from the ankles to the thighs (5 times). Knead the muscles on the thighs in their upper part and on the side. Then massage your thighs from the knee up, alternating hands. With light tapping movements, run your fingertips along the outside of your thighs. Bringing your fingers together, with light pressure, massage the area around the knees in a circular motion. And finally, knead the calves with both hands, slightly pulling the muscle away from the bone. Finish the procedure by stroking the outer and inner surfaces of the legs, as at the beginning.
To strengthen the hips, massage the legs from the bottom up, from the knee to the thigh. Place your hands flat, with your thumb on your thigh and the rest on your side to completely cover the entire area.
To keep your knees beautiful, massage them with your middle fingers on both sides of the patella. The thumbs should rest on the legs just above the knees. Press and slide your finger up, along the contour of the patella. Then go again in the same direction with spiral movements from the bottom up.

Do not forget about water procedures

A contrast shower will help you get rid of heavy legs. Start with warm water, then gradually move to cold. This is a good exercise for lazy veins: at first they expand under the influence of heat, then they shrink from the cold. Massage your feet with cold water for a few minutes in the direction from the ankle to the thigh. Keep the shower at a distance of 10 cm from the skin.
Another massage option: sit in the bath and stretch your legs. With a shower jet of cool water, reciprocate from the ankles to the buttocks. Stop when the water level rises to the hips or, better, to the waist.
On vacation at the resort, walk along the seashore, first ankle-deep, then knee-deep, then hip-deep in water.

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