Italian Cypress Branches Drooping

respect1luvApril 24, 2008

I planted 4, 3 foot, Italian Cypress in my front yard about 2 weeks ago. I gave them root simulator right away, and a Miracle Grow fertilizer spike (Tree & Shrub one, couldn't fine Evergreen spike) a week later. I've been hand watering them every night (about 1-2 gallons). I am noticing that the branches on all four are starting to droop at the bottom. It also looks like they are slightly turning greenish-yellow. The top of the trees are still tight. Does anybody know whats going on, if this is a problem and if so, what do I need to do. thank you

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

You are watering too often. Water only enough to keep newly planted specimens moist. Stick your finger into their rootballs to check if you are unable to judge from visual inspection. In future do not use root stimulator or tree spikes. If fertilizing is indicated by a soil test (try New Mexico Cooperative Extension for help with this) apply an appropriate granular fertilizer to the surface of the mulch.

If there is no mulch, there should be.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 12:03PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

spot on bboy ...

all i would add.. is that it is conifer ... and should be treated as a conifer.. not a shrub .... which means.. differing watering.. as ron noted..


    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 12:21PM
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Thanks for the info. So I'll water less often and quit using fertilizer. Will this liven up my trees? or do I need any kind of medicine for it?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 2:01AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

If they have rotted roots they may even now decline and fail. Depends on what specific circumstances are. Give care recommended here and see how it goes.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 11:50AM
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I cut back the watering to 3 days a week, 1 gallon per day. 3 of the 4 trees seem to be getting better. I'm still keeping watch to see if that is still too much.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 1:03PM
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I have four recently planted 8 foot Italian Cypress turning yellow at the trunk on lower limbs also. I have watered them about twice a week with a sprinkler but they look pretty bad. Any ideas?
Do you think this is shock from being planted? Mine were extremely root bound in the pots I purchased them in.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 1:21PM
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I have 15 Italian cypress trees on a water drip system. I have a similar problem to the first post. I will cut back on the watering and fertilizing. The drooping limbs range from 1-3 foot in length. The trees are about 5yrs old and are about 15ft high. The lower half of the limbs on all of my trees are drooping now my question is how do I correct this. And if its trimming how far back do you trim a limb? I would appreciate any help and suggestions. Thanks

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 1:57PM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

Bethany, it sounds as though you might have the opposite problem - too little water. You don't say how long you are running the sprinkler, but that's a notoriously inefficient way to water. You are probably watering a lot of other things in your yard that don't need it, plus a goodly percentage (amount depending on heat, humidity, wind, etc.) of the water from a sprinkler evaporates before it hits the ground or doesn't reach the targeted plant(s).

Poke a finger down into the root ball - down to the second knuckle - and see if the tip is wet or dry. If it is dry, then water WELL, but slowly, so the water gets to the bottom of the root ball. Hand watering, either with a hose, or with a 3-5-gallon bucket with 3-5 holes in the bottom, would guarantee that all the water reached the root ball.

Because yours were root-bound, they will tend to dry out faster than if they were not. If you roughed up the sides and bottom of the ball as you planted, which you should have done, then they will more than likely recover and the roots will grow out into the soil, but it will take longer than if the roots had grown only to the sides of the pot/root abll. If you didn't rough them up, they will probably also be OK, but it will take longer still. Because there is mostly roots in the root ball, and probably little soil, there is little to hold moisture in the root ball. The trees were probably watered daily, maybe twice a day in the nursery, so it wasn't a factor in how they looked. BUT, it does mean that you have to water more often than you would otherwise. Still check before you water, as they may have begun to adjust. If you haven't mulched DO SO - as widely as possible, no deeper than 4", and no mulch in the couple of inches next to the trunks.

Mike, you need to check and see if yours are getting too much or too little water, and then adjust the system, unless you have already done so, in which case, my apologies. Certainly cut off the fertilization. You should also mulch, as the dry air will cause a lot of evaporation from the ground, and "waste" a lot of the water you apply.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 3:54PM
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Here's a related question. My 4-foot Italian cypresses have drooping branches that resulted after a recent snow and wind storm. The question is, should I tie them up or just let them droop? Seems like tieing them up would not harm the tree.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 7:52PM
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I was able to revive all but one of my Cypress'. A good trick to know if you're watering to much or too little is:

If the bottom of the tree is yellowing first, from the inside out, you're watering too much.

If the top of the tree is turning brown first then you're watering too little.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 4:54PM
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We are having the same problem as Robert......our 8' cypresses have many drooping branches following a heavy snow.....what to do? tie them? prune them? give them little blue pills? :) or leave them alone to correct themselves over time? other than this issue, they appear to be healthy

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 3:10PM
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Oldenpony, we don't get much snow down here in Southern Utah, but when we did get a little bit the last few winters, I noticed that they were causing the branches to droop on my cypresses. I was a little concerned, but figured I'd leave it alone for a while. Sure enough, within a couple - three weeks, they perked right back up.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 2:56PM
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hello everyone, I have seven italian cypresses six to seven ft. apart, I planted them six years ago one suddenly died last year and I replaced it with one the same size as the rest, now they're aprox. 8 to 9 ft. tall. they were all nice and green during and after winter time, now I noticed that two are turning brownish and dry but at the same time there's tiny little green branches popping out from the trunk, they look bad, green in some parts and really dry in others.
I don't water these trees with dripping lines, they get the water from the sprinkle system 5 mins. in the morning and 5mins. in the evening, the weird thing is that last year it happened exactly the same thing but only with one of these two during summer time last year and slowly turning green when we were getting close to fall-winter, I really don't have a clue if I'm watering to much or not. and why the other trees look green from the outside and when I stick my hands through the branches they look dryish from the inside, it's getting hard for me to understand these trees.
I had a dream long time ago that I had these 7 or 8 italian cypresses lined up tall and green, it would be so sad that now that they're 8 to 9 ft. tall I'll have to chop them down because I let them die. please HELP !!!
oh !! and by the way last year I started using this liquid food from Miracle Grow every 2 weeks and it seems it was working good now I started to use it again two weeks ago, should I keep using it, should I stop using it, what kind of food or fertilizer is good for these trees ?
thx. Rudy.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 12:24AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

5 minutes of water.. twice a day is most likely insufficient ... especially for extremely large transplants ...

feeding a plant that is starved for water.. wont help

start your own post.. and add some pix


    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 9:46AM
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