The Q&A Archives: Arizona Cypress with Dying Branches

Question: We have 15 Arizona cypress in our back yard that are approximately 5.5 years old. The branches are breaking off at the ends (what appears to be new growth) and we are concerned that the trees are dying. Someone had suggested that we have borers and that we should spray with soldine. We love the privacy the trees give and would hate to loose them. They are approximately 15 tall and until this year have been fabulous. Any suggestions a the problem is getting worse. Peter M. Westbrook Lockeford, CA

Answer: Arizona cypress are reputed to be hardy, trouble-free trees. They are occasionally subject to canker diseases, but that is usually a problem in the more humid southeast. And the symptoms include a general dieback of branches throughout the tree, not broken off tips. My first thought is whether you might have deer "browsing" on your trees. Deer will chew off the tips of branches. Is this a possibility? If so, there are some things you can do to try to deter them. You might consider taking a sample of the damage to a local nursery for identification. Or contact your local Extension agent about problems with cypress in your region. Their number is 209/468-2085.

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