chamaecyparis dying off

Asked May 19, 2015, 10:43 PM EDT

I had 3 blue needled chamaecyparis pisifera - a 10-year old and a 6-year old one in the ground, plus one (about 2 feet tall) in a pot that I got in fall 2013 from Brookside. The two planted ones died within about a week during the 2013-14 winter; HGIC said probably from damage during the freeze-thaw periods that winter. When I got the potted one it had some browning in a few areas that the Brookside guy said was probably just due to lack of sun. It was okay for a year but now is looking really bad. Photos attached. Can you tell what's up? I'm beginning to wonder if there's a disease or insect preying on them. Thanks as always.

Montgomery County Maryland trees and shrubs boulevard cypress

1 Response

This is a variety known as 'Boulevard Cypress'. One of its characteristics is that the old inner needles die and do not fall off. (On most evergreens, old leaves/needles fall off cleanly.) Consequently, there is a lot of unsightly dead material on the tree, making it undesirable.
We do not recommend this tree for homeowners as it looks unsatisfactory in the landscape and there is nothing you can do to remedy the problem.