October 10, 2015
I 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.
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.
I 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.
Did 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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