Cypress Tree Health: Disease and Pest Control

A cypress tree.

The cypress tree is one of the most ancient tree species. They are known to have a long life span, sometimes living to be hundreds of years old. They can grow to be very large, even reaching heights in excess of 60 feet. Generally a hardy tree species, cypress trees tolerate adversity well but can also suffer attacks by diseases and pests. The following is a guide on disease and pest control.

Cypress Tree Diseases and Control

A fungal attack can cause Needle blight, making the needles yellow in color and causing them to drop. It usually attacks in late fall. The inner lower branches are attacked first and the blight systematically spreads upwards and outwards. Kocide 2000 as well as Zertol are helpful as a control measure.

Different types of canker may attack your cypress tree. Cankers usually resemble blisters on the bark or trunk of the tree. It is caused by a fungi which enters injured bark and forms a canker that rapidly reproduces. Stem canker initially results in the branches dying followed by the entire tree. A combination of Zertol and Daconil can help control the canker. Botryosphaeria cankers are more or less like a stem canker and also results in the death of branches. The Zertol and Daconil mixture is also helpful. Where trees experience poor drainage or excessive watering, root rot can occur. Zertol works effectively in controlling the problem.

As a general measure, prune all infected branches immediately if you notice leaves turning yellow-brown. This will improve the look of the tree and also reduce fungal inoculum. Canker spreads rapidly and if untreated will quickly cause the death of infected trees. After pruning, you can follow with irrigation to check the spread of smaller cankers extending to destroy more of the tree. If diagnosed early, canker disease is easier to control. However, if your cypress tree has a large canker on the main trunk you may have to replace it as chemicals are limited in effectively controlling the fungi.

It is important that you encourage the good health of your tree. Tree care should also include ensuring that the cypress tree is well watered especially during seasons of drought, dry weather, and in the summer when rain tends to be minimal. Adequate water contributes to the resilience of the cypress tree and it will withstand adversity better. Diseases can also be prevented by ensuring that the tree is not damaged or subjected to stress. Avoid planting too many trees close together.

Pest Control for Cypress Trees

Bagworms frequently attack the cypress tree. Although they can be handpicked, spraying is more effective for larger trees. Apply Cygon in the early spring months before the larvae produce bags as it is more difficult to control them when they have bagged. Scale feeds on sap and attacks the needles and branches giving the appearance of crusty flakes. Apply Cygon in the spring as with the Bagworms. Spider mites feed on the sap causing the needles to become brown. Miticides are helpful in controlling the mites.