Question of the Week: April 12, 2018

“Neil, what is causing my Italian cypresses to die, and what can I do to stop it?”

Disease that became common in 2017 continues to run rampant this year.

This is Seridium canker perhaps mixed in with Phomopsis Tip Blight. They hit tons of Italian cypress trees in Spring 2017, and now they’re back once again. You’ll see similar dieback in Blue Point and Spartan junipers as well. Leyland cypress plants were ravaged by them all across Texas six or seven years back.

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Blue Point juniper has been ruined by Phomopsis twig canker.

Plant pathologists and arborists have little to suggest in eliminating these diseases. Take the best possible care of your plants and prune out diseased wood. Should the plant become really disfigured, however, you probably should just plan on replacing it with some entirely different species. Let your local independent retail garden center advise you. That’s not what you wanted to read, but I have always promised to give you my honest opinion.

Not good news, but at least it might save you a few dollars and wasted time.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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