Sick Chamaecyparis lawsoniana

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by Angela, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. Angela

    Angela Member

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    I am hoping you can help me with some information. I have a type of false cypress (I think it is a Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) that has been ill for about 5 or 6 years. It is about 60-70 feet tall. The bottom half is affected and very sparse, but the top half still seems fine and very dense. The tree gets healthy new growth each year, but all the other green dries, browns, and falls off. I know that this is not the natural yearly flagging that many evergreens experience. This is a very common problem in the past 5-6 years throughout the Lower Mainland (Vancouver, Coquitlam, Langley, Richmond) with this specific species of tree. Most of the trees I have seen are in worse condition (mostly dead) than ours.

    Do you know how I can save the tree, or a very trustworthy company I can call.

    Please help. : )
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Flagging is a reaction in summer common to western red cedar and yellow cedar in general. Lawson Cypress have an issue with root rot, usually Phytopthora of some sort. If you need a qulified individual to come and look at your tree (for a fee most likely) try here: http://www.isa-arbor.com/findArborist/arbsearchCity.asp
     
  3. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Yes, as said, that tree can have problems, and also is known for "THE problem" associated with it.

    My opinion - put money into the removal and replacement of one - not consulting for one. The potential for it's future loss, is quite high.

    Country clubs in our area are already on a program to remove them even before they die, as they know the likely outcome. And removal only gets more expensive with age, and each year left, is one more year a replacement will not have grown to fill the space.
     
  4. HortLine

    HortLine Active Member 10 Years

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    Chamaecyparis lawsoniana is indeed susceptible to a root rot fungus called Phytophthora, and it may be that this is the problem with your tree. For more information, try

    http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ldplants/chla.htm
    http://www.ppath.cas.psu.edu/EXTENSION/PLANT_DISEASE/phytoph.html


    If the link posted by jimmyq doesn't work, go to
    www.isa-arbor.com/home.asp
    then click on 'Find a Certified Arborist' on the left side of the page.

    However, while there are a number of excellent practitioners in the area, accreditation by the International Society of Arboriculture (i.e., "certified arborist" designation) is unfortunately no guarantee of professionalism (there are still arborists who recommend indiscriminate tree-topping). I would recommend that you first talk with neighbours and friends in the area to see if they would recommend a local person.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    http://www.isa-arbor.com/findArborist/findarborist.asp - the link I meant to post the first time (I didnt check to see if the other was a pastable link).

    As for the certified arborists vs neighbors opinions of tree care personel, I would definately choose a certified individual over a neighbor with a chainsaw or a "gardener friend". I agree it has no bearing on professionalism, it is intended that members of the ISA have a code of conduct but, it is not enforced (lots of industry people list this as their main complaint with the ISA). Certification shows a level of recognized knowledge and generally a sign of intended professionalism and recognition. Buyer beware is as important in tree care as it is with any other product or service. Meet the company representative, get an estimate, then get another, and another if it makes you happier. You will be able to tell who looks the part and who knows their stuff. Ask them for previous customer #'s and talk to people who have had them do work.

    I don't mean to trumpet about certification but in my case, I spend upwards of $1000 a year to keep certified with two different organisations and I want people to choose me over the guy with a chainsaw and a shovel in his pickup that happens to be unemployed or in the tree care industry because he is bored or has lots of time off. Their hobby is my career. I am proud of my certifications but my work and my customers will be the ones who decide if I have fair work practices, knowledge, experience and ability.

    Things to look for in a tree care company: insurance, WCB coverage, condition of equipment, safety record, previous customer feedback, industry affiliations, employee knowledge levels (certifications, diplomas, degrees, experience).

    here is a link for those who really want to hear certification propoganda:
    http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/hire_arborist.asp


    * stepping off soapbox *

    cheers all,
     
  6. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    If the symptoms were due to Phytophthora the tree would
    already be dead. That is not the problem here. Look for
    Spider Mites in the needles and the resultant effects of
    a visible rust on the needles and the twigs. If the tree was
    here I would be looking for sap deposits in the shaded areas
    of the trunk and the oldest lower branches due to borer
    damage. The needle rust in conjunction with the borers
    (usually but not always Flathead Borers) is the leading
    killer of the Lawson Cypress here.

    Jim
     
  7. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Now, look what we have?

    < My opinion - put money into the removal and replacement
    of one - not consulting for one. The potential for it's future
    loss, is quite high. >

    There are times I agree and then there are times of misdiagnosis
    when the tree can be salvaged. It is a tough call but when
    knocking down trees with some age on them, the question of
    time to have another one that same size does indeed influence
    a decision.

    < As for the certified arborists vs neighbors opinions of tree
    care personel, I would definitely choose a certified individual
    over a neighbor with a chainsaw or a "gardener friend". I agree
    it has no bearing on professionalism. >

    Generally, it does matter that someone is a professional as
    opposed to a person that is not qualified. I agreed with
    Mario's assessment in the thread in the Hortboard as I've
    worked with certified arborists and those that are not
    certified. I've worked with licensed landscape contractors
    and I've worked with licensed landscapers using someone
    else's license to get the job. If given a choice to whom to
    work with I'll choose the person that is certified and the
    one whom the license is registered to. Granted, there
    are people that are not licensed that are very good at what
    they do but we are better off to know them and know of
    their work ethic and their professionalism beforehand.

    The Lawson Cypress is a good example of both Mario's
    and Paul's points of view. First I would have an arborist
    come in and analyze the situation. The water mold form
    of Phytophthora can be ruled out as in most cases the
    tree will become weakened in one Summer and by the
    next Summer it is dead. Here, we can plant these trees
    in March, see the tree come down with symptoms in May
    and by July the party is over. For something like that
    Mario is correct to dig it up and possibly plant another
    one but not in the same hole. Then again, is it wise to
    plant the same type tree anywhere near where the other
    one died? That is a question that Paul gets to deal with.
    From a post I made in the Grape forum I cautioned
    someone the he may not want to do it. Now, let's say
    this tree has had a Spider Mite infestation and showing
    symptoms for 5-6 years. The crown is apparently
    unaffected with new growth emanating from the top.
    Do we drop the tree and start over or is there a chance
    that Paul can save this tree by cleaning it up and using
    a spray or two to knock down the Spider Mites, ward
    off the rust disease and with some tender loving care
    the tree can be made almost whole again minus the
    lower growth? I would opt for Paul to do his work
    on the tree and try to help it if he can. If he cannot
    do much to help he will be professional enough to
    tell Angela that but I think he has a realistic shot at
    saving the tree unless it is now infested with borers.

    Jim
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I vote for a mite/insect infestation being likely. Do have somebody look at it, esp. since you are not even certain it is Chamaecyparis lawsoniana.

    I also think cutting down still-living specimens on uninfested sites is a really bad idea.
     

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