We have several cryptomeria trees on our property and are used to seeing some browning of of the greenery of these wonderful trees, especially in the winter. However, this year I have noticed that entire branches are turning a bright rust color, almost orange as opposed to the regular greyish-brown. One of our younger cryptomeria that was planted 5 years ago seems to be loosing its lower branches by first fading to dull green and then turning this orange color. Our older trees are also showing some similar issues, along with branches that seem to droop for no obvious reason such as storm damage. Is there any known issue affecting cryptomerias in the region? Is there anything I can do to prevent these wonderful screening trees from dying? (I had sent this question previously, but was not able to attach photographs until now)
We would like to see more photos of the trees. Send photos of the whole tree, around the base of the tree, and affected branches. We would like to see photos from a distance to see if there is any pattern to the browning. Attach photos to this reply.
The photo on the right - You may be dealing with a root problem. Looks like the branch is declining in a spiral pattern but we cannot be sure. It is possible a root may have died due to disturbance, drought, etc.
Cryptomeria trees in northern Maryland are just on the cusp of their comfortable hardiness zone. The cause of the browning of lower branches on your tree(s) may be indicative of a root problem, but the upper canopy appears to be quite healthy. We see no signs of insect or disease in your photos. Your only recourse is to prune out the dead limbs and provide supplemental irrigation when necessary.