cryptomeria care

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by jules, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. jules

    jules Member

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    I have had a cryptomeria in a container on my patio for almost 2 years. When I bought it there were a few brown branches present in the middle of the tree but these have increased substantially in the last year or so mostly on the back part of the tree that is closest to the window. The top part of the tree is healthy and growing but on the bottom back half most of the branches are brown and dried up and look dead. There doesn't seem to be any pest problem, I have it in a north facing sheltered area and it is watered regularly. It was transplanted into a large cedar container in April. Does anyone have any possible solutions to this problem? Should I prune that section back heavily in the fall? Should I turn the container around so the brown section is facing outward from the window?
     
  2. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Hi Jules:

    I would need to know what form of Cryptomeria you have
    such as 'Elegans', 'Elegans nana', 'Bandai-sugi', Sekkan-sugi'
    or Cryptomeria japonica. I would also want to know your
    growing location. If you can provide some pictures of
    your plant I can be of more help to you.

    From what you wrote it seems you might have a needle rust
    disease which is quite common on many forms of the Sugis.
    The rust is generally not fatal to the tree but it will weaken
    the tree which can provide an invading insect to come in and
    then possibly kill the tree. There are measures you can take
    to help but I need to know what form of Cryptomeria you
    have and see or better learn of some of the damage to better
    help you.

    Jim
     
  3. jules

    jules Member

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    More about the Cryptomeria

    Hi,
    Thanks for your post. The tree is a Cryptomeria japonica "Elegans Auera." We bought it in March 2003 and at that time it had a few yellow leaves on it but we were told that that is its normal winter conditon. We are in Vancouver BC and it has been dry and hot here for the last two summers so we have watered it approx every two days. It is on a north facing ground floor patio (no direct sun or wind) in a cedar container and gets lots of rain in the winter. We looked for root rot and for brown rings in the branches but neither is present. I'll try to post a picture altho I'm not sure how to do it.
    Jules
     
  4. jules

    jules Member

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    Picture of ailing cryptomerica japonica

    Here is the picture of the Cryptomeria japonica Elegans Aurea attached.
     

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  5. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Hi Jules:

    What I am seeing is more of a leaf blight than Mite
    damage. If the plant were mine I would cut out as
    much of the brown colored areas as possible. I
    would cut the brown branches all the way back to
    the trunk. You can snip off the brown ends if most
    of the branch is green but you have to be careful
    with your cuts as you can infect other parts of the
    tree unless you use a disinfectant such as Clorox.
    After you have cleared out most of the dead or
    dying areas I would spray the tree with a fungicide
    of some sort such as a lime-sulfur spray or Copper
    sulfate and do it soon. You may want to contact an
    ISA arborist such as Paul and ask where you can
    purchase a fungicide if your nursery supplier does
    not carry any but you will want to use a fungicide
    to act as a preventative and a protectant. If you do
    nothing to treat your tree you will lose it in time.

    One thing to remember about growing Cryptomerias
    is that they do not like their needles and branches to
    become wet. Place the plant in a protected location
    away from moisture from fog, mist and rainfall if you
    can. Cryptomerias like being in a sunny, warm and dry
    location the best.

    Jim
     
  6. jules

    jules Member

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    Cryptomeria

    Hi Jim,
    Thanks for your advice. It's interesting that these trees need to be in the sun away from moisture - that is the opposite advice we received from the nursery we bought it from. They said that this was a tree that liked shade and would do well in a northern exposure and that is why we bought it! I'm not sure how any tree located outside in Vancouver can be protected from rain, fog or moisture. I can relocate it so it has an awning overtop of it but there is no sun on our patio. Maybe I should give it to a friend with a sunny backyard. In the meantime I will take your advice and do what i can to save it.

    One question, will the branches grow back if we are successful in rehabilitating the tree? Or will it be barren except for the uninfected growth?
    Thanks again,
    Jules
     
  7. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Hi Jules:

    Cryptomerias can handle moisture on the needles if they
    are planted or grown in a container with enough sun to dry
    the needles. As long as there isn't prolonged moisture on
    the needles and branches then you should be okay, especially
    true when you start using a fungicide regimen. The key for
    you is give this plant as much sun as you can. We watered
    our Cryptomerias with overhead sprinklers but with our
    heat there was no worry for us that the needles would dry
    out or not.

    For Elegans Aurea you want to have some cooling for you
    to see the color change to the golden appearance. You will
    see it color up better than we would here. Actually, you should
    be in an ideal spot for that Cryptomeria but what people do not
    tell others is that every form of Elegans that I know of either
    has leaf blight or mite problems depending on where they are.
    You get to have the leaf blight and we get to endure the mites.

    Yes, after cutting the branches back to the base of the trunk
    you can get new growth to come out again but it may take a
    long while for it to do so. I do know that on some forms of
    Cryptomeria we grew that came in to us from a few Pacific
    Northwest nurseries with the leaf blight, that we did get some
    new growth on the trees to grow back in after we pruned out
    the dead and brown growth but it took us a while to see the
    new growth.

    Jim
     

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