Primarily used to create a wind or privacy screen, these North American evergreen coniferous trees can grow in size to a towering 100 feet and 20 feet wide. Fast growing and easy to care for, unfortunately over the last several years Leyland cypress trees have been battling a number of different, and often fatal, diseases and pests, including, but not limited to: Seridium Canker, Cercospora Leaf Blight, Bagworms and Spruce Spider Mites.
Often when initially planted, these trees, especially when used for screening, are placed too close together. As they mature the competition for nutrients, water, air circulation and even sunlight can eventually cause the tree to begin to die from the interior branches out. Also because of the close proximity, diseases and insects which in the past were nothing more than a minor concern, have today grown into a major epidemic, spreading rapidly and killing mature trees in a matter of weeks. For example, a bagworm infestation is particularly damaging, causing significant destruction in a very short period of time.
Not all Leyland cypress trees die off because of disease and pests; Mother Nature also has a hand in their demise. Both too much and too little rainfall can play a role along with a colder than normal winter and spring. A wet cool spring helps to grow the Kabatina Tip Blight fungus which may eventually lead to cankers and needle blight. And while hot temperatures can counteract fungus growth, if the temps are too warm, they along the tree’s naturally shallow root structure can weaken the tree’s natural immune system, creating a catch-22.
As the branch tips begin to brown and die off, you may want to immediately remove them, but horticulturists and arborists advise not pruning your Leyland cypress during the spring, fall or when the weather has been extremely wet. Exposing the cut ends of the branches when moisture is present can cause the fungus to rapidly spread throughout the rest of the tree.
When it doubt, call in the best. And the best in the Upstate is Eric and his team of professionals at Out on a Limb Tree Service. Connect with them online or by calling 864-320-8787 today.