I transplanted an upright form of false cypress.....

javaandjazz(z6 CT)July 24, 2012

about a month ago. I wasn't able to get much of a root ball and had to cut some of the main root. Now most of it is rusted with very few green parts left on it. Will it come back or is it dead. Was wondering after the needles rusted if this was maybe a defense mechanism and maybe it's still alive and might come back?????

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Well, anything is possible, but the odds are not in its favor. Just keep watering it and see what happens. You should know in another few weeks, one way or the other.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 9:17AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

rust is a disease ... i doubt that is what we are talking about ...

brown needles are an after effect.. of transplanting in the wrong season.. destroying a lot of its root mass ... in a summer not conducive to such ... heat and drought for most of us ..

life is all in the tips.. if they remain green.. there is a chance.. but it really boils down to whether you are willing to look at that mess for 3 to 5 years while it might recover ...

it is a conifer.. there is a conifer forum.. should you wish to be enabled..

if it is in fact.. juniper virginiana..it is invasive in many areas.. and the fact that you found a free range plant.. tells em that is probably what you are dealing with ... you can do SO MUCH BETTER ...

need a pic to get beyond total speculation ...


Here is a link that might be useful: check the map link, among others

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 9:31AM
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javaandjazz(z6 CT)

Ok on the rust,the tips are brown or just look rusted. This is a shrub I purchased several years ago at a local garden center, not something I dug out of the woods. Maybe I just have the name wrong but it looks like this, link below. It was growing too big for the area I had it in and I moved it to a much better location. I will take some pictures when I get home from work tonight. Thanks.

Here is a link that might be useful: my shrub

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 10:21AM
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Some conifers will take better to this type of activity than others, but if yours is a Chamaecyparis obtusa (Hinoki or false cypress) like the link, they will not be the slightest bit tolerant. An overall browning generally indicates a conifer on its last legs and there really isn't much chance of recovery once it displays those kind of rusting/browning/drying symptoms.

Transplanting of an established conifer regardless of size is never a slam-dunk at any time of year but you are working at a massive disadvantage to do so in summer, with a compromised rootball and under the conditions of the current heat wave and drought. Failure was pretty much predetermined :-(

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 2:11PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

yep.. even w/o a pic..

your transplant severed too much root mass.. for the foliage on the plant.. and not at the best time of year...
and the plant has burned.. and yes.. it is rust colored..

w/o a pic.. it impossible to speculate.. as to whether it will survive..

interior browning is normal.. increased by transplant.. but life is it the growth tips.. if those live.. the rest will

and then the question will be.. will you be able to stand to look at it.. however it ends up ..

if there is any green left on it.. INSURE PROPER WATERING.. thru the whole root mass.. dig hole next to it.. if you have to find out.. if water is getting in there deeply ... and then let it near dry before watering DEEPLY.. again ..


    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 5:04PM
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javaandjazz(z6 CT)

Thanks for the reminder, here are some pictures. There is still a bit of the green left.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 5:18PM
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Sorry........that plant is dead, dead, DEAD!! That green is nowhere close to being sufficient to support life in that tree. It is just dead tissue that hasn't turned brown yet.

The good news is that now you have an opportunity to select something new and wonderful for that spot :-) And I wouldn't discount another Hinoki - just don't try and transplant it in the middle of summer!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 6:08PM
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Hold on! Only a couple of short years ago there were two notable posters who encouraged us to transplant in summer, deliberately bareroot, even hose off the roots. I kid you not. They even produced a website in the PNW as a reference. Where are they now?
By the looks of it J&J had a beautiful shrub. Although not recommended, it could have been:
- top tied up
- hand dug with sharp spade
- pin on burlap
- drum lace the solid rootball in the hole
- move with tree cart to the shade for a week or so
- turn on sprinkler when needed
- when hardened off, plant in new location
Not every plant can justify that much trouble however a large Hinoki cypress is a valuable shrub.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 8:14PM
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javaandjazz(z6 CT)

Thanks, I thought it was dead too but I had to ask.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 4:34AM
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ronr(z6 ct)

yea unfortunately that little tree is a goner...looks like it was a chamaecyparis filicoides if your looking to replace it.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 11:52PM
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javaandjazz(z6 CT)

ok, I found a new one and it was a tough one to find. It's called Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Tetragona Aurea'. Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 1:47PM
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