Bald Cypress - Knowledgebase Question

Question by headedoutwes
June 4, 2009
Thank you for this service!
I have a third year, well watered Bald Cypress which I purchased and planted from a local nursery. The tree now stands about 15 feet tall with an 8 inch base. For some reason, this year the top 2 feet of the center is bare of needles (leaves). The rest of the Bald Cypress tree looks well maintained and healthy. There has been no trauma to the tree or visible insects.

Answer from NGA
June 4, 2009


The pattern sounds unusual if only part of the tree is affected. Sounds as though it is getting the same care as it has been in the past so about the only thing that would cause the inner foliage to drop is an insect problem. Check the inner branches again, looking for webbing (spider mites). Take a piece of white paper with you, hold it under an inner branch and sharply tap the branch. Debris should fall onto the paper. If you find little black specks that look like pepper, and if they move, there's a population of spidermites causing problems. These little pests like living in dry, dusty places such as the inner branches of your bald cypress. They can be discouraged with periodic sprays of water directed towards the inner parts of your tree. If you cannot find spidermites you may want to collect a few of the affected needles and take them to your local cooperative extension office for microscopic exam. Helpful folks there can confirm or eliminate insect problems and diagnose the problem. Best wishes with your landscape!

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