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Lawn & Garden

Botryosphaeria Canker (Bot Canker disease) on Leyland Cypress


In the south the Leyland Cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii) has grown to become very popular in landscapes due to its beautiful upright growth habits and its ability to create a screen rather quickly. This plant, like many others, is not exempt from its share of problems. This plants unique problem is that it is slowly under attack from a disease that currently has no cure. Botryosphaeria Canker is this disease, and now with millions of these trees planted, blocking out obnoxious neighbors everywhere, could have us meeting our neighbors once again.


What are the symptoms?


Botryosphaeria Canker usually attacks the plant through an open wound, often from pruning or freeze cracks. All the foliage above this sight will die off, turning a rusty brown color. This disease is most prominent in times of drought as well.



How do I manage this?


Because there is no cure for this disease, the best way to stop it is to know how to prevent it. Here are some tips for prevention.


* In times of drought, water slowly and thoroughly, from below with a soaker hose.


* When planting, dig the hole at least 3 times as wide as the hole and deeper, amending the hole with 25% garden soil while using 75% of existing soil.


* Plant with 1 inch of roots above ground level mounding soil up to the top of rootball unless in a wet area, then plant in a raised bed.


* Space Cypress at least 8-10 foot apart to allow for adequate sunlight and air circulation.


* Mulch with pine straw or mulch to hold in moisture and do not let grass or weeds grow under trees, to the  drip line of tree.

 Picture of Leyland Cypress

When your trees show symptoms of Bot Canker, prune the affected area 6 inches below where the dead foliage starts. Also be sure to dip your pruners in alcohol or a germicidal soap after each cut, to prevent pathogens from getting into the cambium layers.



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Posted 2012-06-17T18:37:49+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL

Very informative. Thanks!

Posted 2012-07-06T16:53:42+0000  by ypurcaro

we planted 14 leland cypress in the litchfield park az (outside phoenix az)-all of them have died although it seemed watering was not the issue-wondering if it could be the extreme heat-are the leland cypress compatible in this zone area with no shade??

Posted 2012-07-11T14:43:01+0000  by callihan

Hey callihan.


Often, when many Leyland Cypress are planted, it is common to lose 1 and the possibilities for its death are many. When 100% of them die then the possibilities are very few.


If you planted them this late spring or summer, then the culprit could very well be the heat. Plants require so much water when it gets hot that if the plant does not have an established root system by the time summer rolls around it is virtually impossible to absorb enough water for survival. Fall is the ideal time to plant these plants. I would recommend not planting anything in the summer and if I did, I would be sure to wrap a soaker hose under it and cover it with 2 or 3 inches of mulch, to hold in the moisture.


If these trees were established for a year or longer and were doing fine and then all died suddenly, then I would suggest that they died of a disease or fungus.


My questions to you are:


How long and when were the trees planted?


What was the time frame from the 1st casualty and the last casualty?


What did they look like in the dying process, did they die from the bottom and work its way up or did they die all at once?

Posted 2012-07-12T15:10:48+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL
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