Tree identification and advice

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by MaryannNevile, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. MaryannNevile

    MaryannNevile Member

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    I have an evergreen tree in my yard that has started to turn brown on several of the branches. I am hoping someone can identify the tree for me. I am attaching a picture of the tree and also a close up picture of a branch. The tree was in our garden when we purchased our home, but I would guess that it is quite old. If anyone has advice on why the tree is turning brown and what we could do about it, I would appreciate the information.

    Thanks!
     

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  2. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Maybe Cryptomeria japonica 'Elegans'. Unfortunately , I have one that looks similar, actually nearly completely red now. First thought it might be a spider mite problem, a borer, or root related problems {phytophora} , but found no evidence. C. japonicum 'Elegans Aurea' and 'Elegans compacta' are also lightly affected. About 6 other different cultivars are not affected. First appeared about 6 weeks ago on the south side of the tree and progressively got worse, think it's finished. Have asked at the retail outlets, plantspeople, and a fellow with the same problem {a southerly exposed 25' tree deteriorating over 3 years}, and no real answers, would also like to know the cause. The juvenile leaved cultivars in full sun are most affected if that means anything. Noticed many Thuja plicata , Western Red Cedars, along Highway 401 between Aldergrove and Langley seem to be suffering in a major way, although this may not be related and possibly due to vehicle and airplane pollution, and last years climate. Maybe this thread would receive more replies in the "Conifer forum". Sorry, no answers here, just more questions. Maybe you could let us know if you find more info.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2007
  3. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    This looks very similar to 2 of mine. One nearly as large as the picture the other in a pot being sort of bonsaied (sp) I think in my case it was dryness. The garden one appears to have departed this mortal coil. Letting it go for a bit longer incase it wants to try something. The pot one has taken off again and I have just removed the brown branches.

    Liz
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2007
  4. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Wondering if you ever found the cause of the problem and how your tree is doing.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Likely a blight caused by a pathogenic organism, need to find out before effective corrective measures can be taken. Down here I would try taking samples to WSU Cooperative Extension office, equivalent service up there may be able to help.

    Probably a Chamaecyparis thyoides cultivar, possibly somebody else may think they can tell what species it is from the closeup shot (definitely not Cryptomeria japonica 'Elegans'). Juvenile foliage forms like this can be tricky, the juvenile leaves (cypress family conifers normally start out with these awl-shape leaves as seedlings, then quickly make scale-like or otherwise different adult leaves characteristic of each species) not always being easily recognized as peculiar to a particular kind. In some cases fixed juveniles (adult leaves never produced) such as yours is an example of have traveled for years under the wrong species or even the wrong genus.
     
  6. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Yes, difficult to id and possibly sheared. Unfamiliar with, but thought maybe sunscald, considering the spring weather here. Atlantic cedars seem to be affected by some sort of blight here some years.
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Certainly a juvenile foliage cultivar of some sort of cypress, either Atlantic White Cypress (Chamaecyparis thyoides) or Sawara Cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera). The leaves are opposite, not spirally arranged, so not Sugi (Cryptomeria).
     
  8. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Thanks Michael, wasn't aware of the distinction.
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    There's also a Thuja occidentalis that looks like this. The juvenile foliage Cryptomerias of the 'Elegans' type ('Elegans', 'Elegans Viridis' etc.) have a different leaf shape (as well as arrangement), looking more like they would be rounded in cross section.
     
  10. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Thanks Ron, think I'll try to have a closer look at the conifer foliage from now on, maybe take some close up pics. All interesting.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2007
  11. Nexus

    Nexus Member

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    I just happened to run across this post today while doing a search.

    I'm almost positive that your tree is a Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Squarrosa'. I have one of these, and the foliage looks identical to mine.

    As for the browning foliage, it may be natural. All of the Chamaecyparis pisifera trees I've seen exhibit this to some extent. I believe that it is mostly a response to lack of light. The tree seems to just cut off the flow of nutrients to branches that are not getting enough light. They also tend to hang onto the dead foliage for a long time.

    There's really not much you can do, other than cutting out the dead foliage. If the tree is shaded by other trees, you might want to prune them back to give it more light. You could also try thinning out the upper portion of the tree to get more light to the lower branches.
     

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