The baldcypress tree is the classic tree of southern swamps. There, in its native habitat, it displays a peculiar habit of raising conical "knees" from its roots. The function of these growths is something of a mystery, although some believe it is a way to help the roots get oxygen. This tree dwells in swamps because it out-competes most other trees on such sites.
To the surprise of many, the baldcypress does quite well when planted in the right soil in yards or along streets and is a beautiful specimen tree. It has been grown successfully in cities as far north as Milwaukee and on dry Texas hills.