What’s Wrong with My Cypress?

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This summer the majority of samples submitted to the UTIA plant pest diagnostic lab at the Soil, Plant and Pest Center have been cypress species, primarily Leyland cypress, arborvitae and Japanese cedar. There are many different causes of disease symptoms on cypress, and images alone often are not sufficient to rule out pathogens as the cause of decline. However, some problems are identifiable with an image. North Carolina State University has published the following Identification and Decision Guide for Cypress Problems that is useful for narrowing down potential causes for decline in commonly grown evergreens. A majority of dieback in 2022 was due to a combination of high temperatures and periods of drought in the summer and fall.

Dieback and fruiting bodies on foliage of arborvitae.
Fungal fruiting bodies on arborvitae.

Please contact your local county Extension agent for assistance with plant health problems.

Post by Dr. Eleanor Lopez, plant pest diagnostician.