Question: I have 3 thin six ft. Italian Cypress trees planted 6 months ago.They are losing their dark green color and one turning brown.I have stone peebles at base of trees.I was told not to water and also told to water.What is proper care ?.I live in Los Angeles CA.Can the dark green color return and brown areas regrow green ?

Answer: Italian cypresses are drought tolerant once established but they do need to be watered regularly for about the first year until you are sure the root systems are well established. We generally recommend applying an inch of water per week. The best way to water these trees are by building a watering well or watering basin beneath each by mounding up a few inches of soil in a circle, about 12 inches away from the main trunk. Fill the basin with water, allow to drain, then fill a second time. Watering in this way concentrates the moisture over the root system and allows it to trickle down, wetting the entire root mass. Once a week is usually all it takes. If you planted them six months ago, they should not be showing signs of transplant stress now, but perhaps that is what you are seeing. Or, it could be that they are showing signs of water stress. If the bottom of the tree is yellowing first, from the inside out, you're watering too much. If the top of the tree is turning brown first then you're watering too little. As soon as you adjust the watering, you should see an improvement. I don't know whether or not the brown areas will regrow foliage, but the off color should improve in time. I hope this information helps!

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