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Leyland Cypress

December 10, 2016

Question

14 years ago we planted Leyland cypress across our back lawn. They grew like wildfire to at least 30 feet tall, but Entergy has made several destructive cuts on them and now they need to be replaced. So we are working with Bemis Tree about replacing them. We are in a dilemma. We have planted a Mary Nell Holly in the corner where we had had a 40ft Spruce until Entergy destroyed it, and we love the dark green of the holly. Now we are trying to decide as to whether or not to replace the Leyland with the holly or Emerald Green Arborvitae.
Do you have any suggestions?

 

Answer

If there is room to have a variety I always think diversity is a good thing.  I like both the Mary Nell and Nelly Stevens hollies along with Luster leaf and others.  The arborvitae is a different texture and would complement the hollies and Little Gem magnolias or one of the other small-leafed varieties would also be good.  Many folks planted rows of Leyland cypress that they are now replacing due to a stem canker disease.


 

October 10, 2015

QuestionI wonder if you could help me figure out what is going on with my Leyland Cypress trees. There are a lot of brown branches throughout them. The damage seems to be random. They are about 10 years old and prior to this they have always been healthy. 

 

Answer

Leyland cypress trees are affected by several canker diseases. It typically starts appearing around 7-9 years of age, but you begin to see dying limbs scattered throughout the tree.  Pruning them out as soon as you see them can help, but there really isn’t any spray program that will help.  If you look closely on the stem beneath where you see browning the cankers will appear as sunken, dark brown or purplish patches on the bark, sometimes accompanied by resin (sap) flow.  This is fairly common on these plants which is one of the reasons I don’t recommend using them anymore. That doesn’t help you I know, so hopefully you can prune out and the damage will slow down.  


 

(January 2012)

QuestionI have several beautiful Leyland cypress trees in my front yard that have done well for years, but this year I noticed one of them has a problem in the top. Something is causing it to look like it is dying. I was wondering if you could tell me what it is and if anything can be done before it is too late.

 

AnswerDid you water it the past two summers? We are going to have a lot of damaged plants—trees in particular after the past two horribly, hot and dry summers. Die-back from the tips, could be indicative of drought damage. If you are losing sporadic branches, this could be twig canker, a common disease they suffer from, but it usually doesn't attack just the top of the tree. If you can, take a sample of the plant and some photos to your local county extension office for diagnosis


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