How To Save A Dying Cypress Tree?

How To Save A Dying Cypress Tree?

Cypress trees are evergreen conifers of the family Cupressaceae. There are about 12 species of these trees, and they are cultivated in the warm-temperate and subtropical regions of Europe, Asia and North America. They are pyramidal in shape, and can grow up to 80 feet tall. Like most trees, they are also susceptible to certain problems and diseases, some of which could threaten their survival without timely intervention. 

How to save a dying cypress tree

Check the soil quality. 

Declining health in a cypress tree could be caused by poor soil drainage. These trees thrive in well-draining soil, and if they are planted in poorly-draining soil, it could affect their overall health.  Waterlogged soil also encourages certain cypress diseases. 

If the affected trees are still young, transfer them to fresh, well-draining soil. If they are already mature and the soil is porous, you can add organic matter to enrich the soil; this will also prevent the growth of weeds. Raised mulch beds are also a great way of improving the soil structure and conserving moisture. Compost manure may be added to fertilize the soil. 

Move the trees to an area where there is full sunlight. 

Cypress trees love the sun and need at least eight hours of sunlight daily. If they are planted in shady spots they may struggle to grow and could eventually die. If you suspect lighting issues are affecting your tree, transfer it to an open, sunny spot. If the sunlight is blocked by the branches of surrounding trees, prune them back. Potted cypress trees should be placed outdoors where they can get plenty of sunlight and good air circulation. 

Make sure you are watering your tree adequately.

Cypress trees require water to survive, just like any living thing. If you think your cypress may be underwatered, water it deeply enough to stabilize and revive it. The first sign of underwatering is browning leaves. However, also make sure you are not overwatering the tree, because too much water could result in root rot.  

Inspect the soil to make sure it is neither too dry nor too wet. Proper drainage is vital, especially when transplanting trees. If you notice signs of drought stress in your tree, apply a layer of mulch over the soil to help retain moisture. 

Water young cypress trees to at least three inches deep, at least three times a week. Reduce the watering frequency as the roots become established, usually after about three weeks. 

Inspect the tree for diseases and pests, and treat these accordingly. 

Cypress trees can die from diseases or pest infestation. Weakened trees, such as those that are overwatered, underwatered or have poor air circulation, are more vulnerable to pathogens that attack the trees and make way for damaging diseases.  

Common diseases among cypress trees include the following:

  • Canker

Also called Seridium canker, this fungus attacks the tree’s bark and the leaves eventually turn yellow. It is easily detected, since it thrives in the cracks of the bark. To treat this, get rid of the infected branches and dispose of them properly to prevent the spread of disease. 

  • Phytophthora root and crown disease

The disease is caused by soilborne fungal pathogens and can be detected by the discolored, wilted leaves that it causes. The leaves may turn red or yellow. You can save your tree from this disease by removing the infected bark and using a fungicide

  • Needle blight

This nonparasitic disease turns leaves brown and occurs due to incorrect watering habits. It kills the tree’s feeder roots and also affects the leaves. Revive your tree by providing it with just enough water, and use an antifungal spray to eradicate the disease.

Pests can also invade cypress trees, and common ones include spider mites and bagworms. Bagworms can lay up to 1000 eggs and can cause a heavy infestation. Spider mites suck the sap of plant tissue and thus weaken the plants. The leaves may also turn brown. 

Use a high-pressure hose and insecticidal soap to treat these pests; you can also use neem oil and pesticides. 


Cypress trees are evergreen conifers that can grow up to 80 feet tall. They are also prone to various problems and diseases, and may eventually die if you do not address a problem in time. You can save your dying cypress tree by checking the soil drainage and quality, and ensuring your tree is getting full sunlight. Also check your watering schedule, and examine the tree for diseases and pests, which should be treated promptly.

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