Help needed to save this Cypress tree

Asked February 6, 2019, 9:20 AM EST

Last spring, I wrote to you asking for an advice whether this tree was sick or it was just shedding. Your advice was to give it until summer to see if it would get better. Well it doesn't. The tree is bald on the inside and doesn't look very healthy to me. (See the brown patch on the right) It started below then I cut it off and now it moves upward. I have been in touch with local arborist, but most of them specialize in removing/ chopping down tree. Can you recommend an arborist or two who speciliaze on tree health in Frederick county? Also, any thought of cause and solution from you is greatly appreciated.

Frederick County Maryland

1 Response

Unfortunately, you are not alone in your concern about how older Leyland Cypress are doing. Once considered the 'go-to' evergreen or screening tree, we are now finding that they look great for the first say 15-20 years, but then decline.
They are not really native to our area and over time they begin to succumb to stressors like drought, winter burn, diseases, and pests.

You could have a combination of factors, and it's possible they may live, though limp along progressively worsening for several years.

Take a look at this recent post by our plant pathologist at this link:

Canker diseases and needle blight can become severe. Here is a page about these diseases and the symptoms to look for:
No fungicides are effective for these diseases.

As far as an arborist if you choose to go that route, you want to find tree companies that have an ISA-certified arborist on staff. ISA, the International Society of Arboriculture, is the credentialing body. Most larger tree companies have one on staff, or you can search for one at