What is this plant disease?

Asked March 27, 2020, 12:11 AM EDT

I just saw this today. Is it a disease or a pest? How do I take care of it? I can't remember the name of the shrub. It is a dwarf evergreen/conifer.

Lane County Oregon

9 Responses

This conifer is probably normal, and you are seeing male pollen cones before they drop from the plant. It looks like this is Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Wissel's Saguaro'. Check out the similar tree at the Oregon State Landscape Plants page: https://landscapeplants.oregonstate.edu/plants/chamaecyparis-lawsoniana-wisselii
Looking for a photo similar to your plant, scroll through the American Conifer Society page for Wissel's Lawson Cypress images (little arrows under the specimen photo). Re-contact us if it looks like we need to explore your situation further. https://conifersociety.org/conifers/chamaecyparis-lawsoniana-wisselii/

I dug through my plant tags and compared them with Google images. This is the most likely: Chamaecyparis obtusa habari

I have attached a picture a little further back. Will grow to 3' tall.

I can't find any images of male pollen cones to confirm your diagnosis. Will keep looking.

This is definitely not male pollen cones. It's affecting one major area of this tiny shrub and a few other scattered areas.
My best guess is that it's a fungus but I having no luck finding anything online to verify that.
I attached 2 new pics that might help.
Any other ideas??

Cool image (to a plant pathologist). The unusual growth appears to be part of the tree and not some special organism. It looks like the internode length is substantially shortened or compressed in the affected area. I might hazard a guess that the symptom is a Witches' broom. The area is very confined to a section of the tree. It is hard to tell if there are other areas affected but not as severely.
Possible causes is something I can only guess at as well. We have seen Witches' brooms due to mistletoes (none reported on this cedar), phytoplasmas (see Juniper section at the end) and from undetermined causes. I'll see if our forest pathologist might know something more.

Wow, this is a curious issue. I think these suggestions are by previous folks are good ones. I don't recognize this either, nor have I seen this plant! However, based on the discussion, I think you should prune all the dead out, and wash it with hard spray in case there are spider mites etc. And then see how it develops in the future.

Do these rub off? Dried old pollen cones is still a possibility. Here’s images: https://www.alamy.com/chamaecyparis-lawsoniana-wisselii-image280032100.html

Wow, that pic looks close to what I see. I will check to see if anything rubs off. I can tell you it is TIGHTLY PACKED.

Some parts show a little powder (pollen?) when rubbing, but not all parts.

We might not know what it is via photos. Watch the overall plant health, and as things change the next few months, I hope your plant lives. The virus situation prohibits us from offering office hours for you to bring a cutting to share with staff or volunteers for better examination.