In one cypress dome in the Everglades National Park, cypress knees seem to develop from vertical root loops that grow along and ramify into dead cypress stumps. Nearly all young root loops emerge close to a decaying stump. The proportion of these associations decreases as the diameter and presumed age of the loops increase. Loop density correlates with the density of dead but not of live trunks. These preliminary findings suggest that the root loops emerge primarily near dead stumps and exploit their nutrients until the stumps rot away and the loops develop into mature knees.