The Q&A Archives: Brown Buds on Cryptomeria

Question: One year ago I planted a cryptomeria that has been growing very well. Since the end of winter there have been many brown buds at the end of the branches. When I shake the tree they fall off in droves. It still is browning, but I was wondering if this is normal or not? In addition, I am wondering what type of pruning is best for this tree?

Answer: Cryptomeria may bronze somewhat in the winter, especially if it is exposed to wind, but should green up again in the spring. For this reason a sheltered location out of wind is recommended. A newly planted tree would be particularly sensitive to winter wind as well as to drought. These trees prefer a deep, rich, moist and acid soil, and a lack in any of these areas could contribute to browning tips. In addition, it is possible that it is suffering from either a leaf blight or some form of leaf spot. You might wish to take a sample to your County Extension (454-0900) for a more specific diagnosis and suggested controls, if any. Finally, these trees as a rule require little or no pruning and usually have a lovely shape all on their own.

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