Brown Patches on Your Italian Cypress?
March 8, 2016
In March of last year, we were called upon to look over a prominent planting of Italian Cypress that had brown patches and thinning foliage. The homeowners were worried that the plants they’d invested so much time and and resources in would be a lost cause. We took a closer look to see if the trees could be saved.
After a complete health inspection, the diagnosis came back that this row of Italian Cypress had Seiridium Canker. To attempt to improve vigor get the plants healthy again, we planned to treat them using ArborJet injections directly into the tree.
What is Seiridium Canker?
Seiridium cankers most commonly attack members of the Cupressaceae family. These cankers are caused by one of three different strains of fungal pathogens (Seiridium cardinale, S. cupressi and S. unicorne), and typically infect trees with insect damage or mechanical trauma.
This pathogen is spread via wind by the fruiting bodies or spores. The fruiting bodies are spread typically during spring, or periods of extreme moisture. Initially, the spores colonize in the bark of the tree, causing lens shaped lesions and black colored blisters. With progression, you’ll notice red sunken lesions that produce sap. Unfortunately, the first sign that homeowners notice are dying or flagging branches, at that point, the tree is very infected and in need of treatment ASAP. The flagging or dead branches are evident during the summer, as drought and stress begin taking a toll on your trees. This pathogen can be isolated to only one branch, or many as the disease progresses. Without attention and care, the fungus could eventually kill your entire tree.
Treating Trees with Arborjet
Because Seiridium Canker is an aggressive disease, we opted to treat the trees using the ArborJet system. Infected trees are carefully injected with a healing solution directly into their trunks just as you might offer an IV to a sick person. We use a system to drill, plug, and inject nutrients or treatments directly into the trees transport tissues then seal them into the tree. This system, however, must be done properly and by trained professionals so as not to damage your tree. Because this type of work must be done with precision, Preservation Tree Staff is trained and kept up-to-date with the latest in ArborJet technology.
With the treatment beginning in March of 2015, just as the record-breaking rains had begun, we were concerned the disease would continue to spread because of the excessive moisture. However, these trees didn’t get any worse. By August, they had almost completely healed.
Want healthy trees? Yearly maintenance is key.
We understand that not every pest and disease problem is entirely avoidable. But, maintaining good general plant health is a great first step to avoiding heightened susceptibility of infection. To avoid a disease such as seiridium canker in Italian or Leyland Cypress trees, water the right amount through the year and don’t overwater, even in summer. Could your trees be infected? Call or email us and one of our expert arborists can be scheduled to examine your trees and provide you with management recommendations.
Posted: March 8, 2016