What happened to my trees? Please help - Knowledgebase Question

Sacramento, Ca
Avatar for rochelletru
Question by rochelletru
September 18, 2010
I bought 2 potted cypress trees (4 ft. tall)a few months ago. We have been watering them regularly and they have been green. All of a sudden they both turned brown. Are they dead? Are we suppose to cut them? Can we still save them?

Answer from NGA
September 18, 2010
I'm not exactly sure what happened to your cypresses but here are some things to consider: overwatering can cause root rot which can make the foliage turn brown in a hurry; drought can do the same thing. While plants in containers can need more frequent watering than the same plants planted in the ground, if the containers don't drain well the soil at the bottom of the container can be soggy wet while the top can be dry. Perfect conditions for root rot! Try unpotting the cypresses and inspecing the root system. If the roots are mushy and black or brown, root rot is the culprit. If the roots look healthy, droughty conditions are probably the cause of the sudden death of your plants. I don't know that they can be saved. Wish I could be more positive!

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