Hello, please let us know where this plant is located. If it is outside of the US - what country? If it is inside the US, what state and county? This way it will be easier for us to diagnose the problem and assign the question to the best expert.
Many thanks Ann, I think the plant is a Cypruss tree. But I'd welcome your confirmation. I live in Surrey, UK.
The structures to fit the Cypruss, or Cupressus. Here is an information page from Oregon State University about one tree in the genus, Cupressus sempervirens: http://landscapeplants.oregonstate.edu/plants/cupressus-sempervirens