Cypress trees are native to the swamps and lowland areas throughout the Southeastern U.S, with the heaviest stands in the lower Mississippi Valley and Florida. It is often called Bald Cypress because it is one of only two coniferous trees with needlelike leaves that shed its foliage in the winter like hardwood trees. Cypress trees have expanded lobed bases or "swelled butts" and knees or pheumatophores which expand up from the roots to several feet above the water to help anchor the tree and supply oxygen to the roots system. The trees grow slowly in forest conditions and require about 200 years of growth to develop a high proportion of heartwood lumber. Occasionally these trees age up to 1200 years. Most of the virgin stands of Bald Cypress have been depleted and the species is not reproducing well in the some of the cutover swamps. Because it is found in swamps, it is hard to get to, sometimes requiring helicopters for removal. Because of these reasons Cypress production has declined and it is generally believed that cypress trees are now growing faster than they are being harvested.