2 Tree Diseases That Can Strike Leyland Cypresses

Posted on: 16 November 2015

Leyland cypress trees are tall, dense evergreen trees that are popular landscaping accents that can double as a green privacy screen when planted in a row. The trunk, branches, and needle-like leaves of the tree are fairly hardy, which allows the tree to grow in a variety of soils. However, the roots are shallow in the ground, which can cause problems and increase the risk of certain tree diseases.

Keep a watchful eye on your cypress trees for any signs of tree diseases so you can catch the problem before it causes substantial damage. Here are two of the diseases that often strike Leyland cypress trees.

Canker Disease

Fungi cause canker disease, and in Leyland cypresses, the fungi can be either Seiridium unicorne or Botryosphaeria dothidea. Both types of fungi can cause similar symptoms and have similar treatment methods.

The defining characteristic of canker disease is open sore-like structures on the bark of the branches and/or trunk. The sore will often appear at the site of a previous injury such as a break in the wood. Bark within the sore will turn black and start to emit smelly ooze. The outer rim of the sore will redden.

Hire a tree trimming service to trim away any canker-affected areas of the tree before the problem can spread to the trunk. It is important to hire a service because any accidental slips by a novice can cause more damage to the tree and open up yet another vulnerable spot for the canker to spread.

Needle Blight

Needle blight is another type of fungal disease that can strike a Leyland cypress tree. The disease causes the tree's needles to brown and fall off but affects the tree from the bottom up through the center so that the exterior of the tree can still look green when the interior sections are shedding dead needles. Needle blight takes hold in the early summer months but doesn't show symptoms until a few weeks later.

Needle blight can prove deadly for some trees such as junipers and cedars. But Leyland cypress trees are hearty and fungicide and some well-timed pruning can get the blight under control if caught early. If most of the needles have already died, you can apply the fungicide and wait until the next growing cycle. If the needles don't grow back or fails to grow back as bushy, you should consider having the tree removed so the disease doesn't spread to your other trees.

For professional tree services, contact a company such as Treetime Inc.