Disease Alert: Italian Cypress in Decline Across the Metroplex!
May 1, 2017
Have you noticed many of the Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) across the Dallas-Fort Worth area are suffering? Large swaths of foliage are turning brown and some plants are requiring replacement. These statuesque, evergreen trees are one of the tallest conifers you'll see in the area and their narrow columnar width makes them quite useful for placing in rows as a living screen or adding height to a design without creating shade.
Could it be…
Spider Mites? Blotchy brown patches of dying foliage are covering these trees, giving them a mottled appearance. An outbreak of spider mites this season are one possible source of this type of damage. Here is a quick and easy test to find out. Slide a piece of thick white paper just underneath and thump one of the affected branches. Tiny, dust like specks will soon begin to move on your paper if this is indeed your problem. A miticide can take care of these pests, but don't delay. These microscopic critters number in the millions on a large specimen and they can devastate plants in a short period of time. A second application may be necessary to catch subsequent hatching generations.
Seiridium Canker? This is a more serious issue that causes severe deterioration similar in look to evergreens affected with mites. Caused by fungal pathogens that spread by wind, particularly during periods of moist weather, the spores first infect the bark. Slowly progressing to the inner tissue, it forms oozing lesions and dark blisters along the bark. By the time branch and leaf casualties are visible, your tree needs help immediately.
Phytophthora root rot? How you plant a tree is as important as how you care for it afterwards. Phytophthora root rot is the result of planting Italian Cypress in compacted soil and over-watering. The crown and roots of the tree will rot, causing foliage to turn yellow and brown. Phytophthora can persist in the soil for years when moist conditions remain. Watering these arid trees with care will reduce its chances of contracting this deadly fungal disease.
Treatment & Prevention
How does our staff heal sick trees and keep them from repeating an infestation or illness?
Our staff is trained to administer treatments using direct injections into your tree. Like an IV for humans, Arborjet treatments go directly into the vascular system or tree "veins" and quickly helps to kill harmful diseases in a way that does not broadcast pesticides around your landscape. We've had success in treating problems from Seiridium Canker with these treatments, getting a row of Italian Cypress back to health.
Reduce watering to affected trees and ensure your irrigation is working properly.
Aerate soil to help oxygen flow freely through the roots.
Remove dead and diseased tree parts using sanitary means.
Control fungal canker infections by injecting Arborjet products into tree trunks.
A fungicide applied to the soil around the tree roots to control fungal infections.
- Rebuild beneficial soil fungi by applying liquid compost around the root zone.
If your arborist evaluates your tree and can find no safe, viable solution to heal it, they will recommend tree removal. But, only if necessary.
Keep in mind that plants are more susceptible to disease and pest problems when they have suffered from stressors including freezing winters, summer drought and soil type. Record rainfalls, like we had last spring, can actually be hard on root systems that have diminished during long dry spells. Proper care all through the year is essential. Letting us, or your local qualified arborist, know right away if you are noticing die-back on evergreens or other tree problems. This helps us to find a solution more quickly and to save plants that are seriously impaired. Give us a call today so we can diagnose your trees swiftly and take care of it.