Need advice! disease on Italian cypress "Totem"

bart_2010(8/9 Italy)March 4, 2014

Hi, everybody. I'm new to tree gardening-and related forums! So I need some help as to how to approach a problem I'm having with one of my "Totem" cypresses. I got 6 of them in the autumn of 2012. By spring of 2013, I could see that one of them had a patch of brown,dead stuff on it; I cut it out and sprayed it with Bordeaux mixture. Over the following summer the tree seemed to be doing better, though it's smaller than it's fellows. Now, just yesterday whilst fertilizing, I saw that, yet again, this tree is showing a patch of dead, brown/grey; not, perhaps, as large as the sick area in it's first year, but it's there. I already have sprayed it with copper...OK, so, here's my question. I know that cypresses can be subject to canker, though this being a newer cultivar, I'm a bit disappointed that it would get this disease.1) Is there any hope of saving the tree; i.e., if I keep on spraying it ,is there any hope of the problem disappearing in time? 2) Is it's presence in the garden a risk for my other cypresses; i.e.,should I just get rid of it? 3)Would it make any sense to try to dig this tree up and move it to a better spot? because I think that the three cypress trees planted in this particular area of the garden are all growing more slowly than the other three which are planted on higher, more open, sunny ground;though only this one shows disease,I'm thinking that it might not be the best spot in the world for cypress.The tree is only starting it's second year in my garden,so it isn't too established yet...Thanks in advance for any thought, advice, etc. bart

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hey .....

where are you ..

any chance at a pic ...

boy you sure like spraying your plants ... eh???

how did you start with these?? .. potted.. or ball and burlap ...

one lesson for the conifer world.. i might suggest ... is to never expect 100% success ... frankly.. 5 out of 6 isnt bad odds ...

get rid of the weakling... move one of the middle ones if need be...

and relpace the center one with SOMETHING ELSE ...

diversity rules in my book.. and these plants are notorious for a multitudes of issues ... so i would intersperse different plants.. to avoid total loss ..

what about a pic????

good luck


ps: when you get toward the point of spending more time and money of 'fixing' a problem ... consider dumping the weakling.. and starting over.. hopefully.. before duplicating your costs ...

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 9:29AM
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bart_2010(8/9 Italy)

Thanks, for your answer, ken.I'm in Tuscany, Italy, in the foothills of the Appenines. No, I certainly can't say that I LIKE spraying;it's a huge job and a pain in the neck, but the backbone of my garden is climbing roses,so I like to do a general disinfecting at least at the end of winter.I'll try to get a picture up, but I'm not very "agile" with the computer, so it may not happen unless my DH has a moment to give me a hand.
These plants came in pots,since you ask.
I think I will go ahead and dig up the weakling,though I may just try it in a pot in a different spot;like I said, that area doesn't have great air circulation, etc,so it may pick up if moved .I have so much space to fill on my property;it's not like I couldn't find a spot for it!.Fact is,I'm used to roses,which I move around all the time, but I'm new to trees so I wasn't sure that would be do-able,but from your post I infer that one can indeed move a young cypress succesfully. I don't think I'll move the healthy ones however..."if something isn't broken, don't fix it" cheers, bart

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 3:29AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i used to do roses...

and all the spraying was one of the reasons i gave them up ... that and moving to an all sand property.. roses dont like sand ... lol ...

since i fixated on both .... i would say.. the biggest difference.. is that trees do NOT need the heavy feeding that roses do .. and frankly.. even in my barren sand.. i NEVER fert trees... these are conifers.. but conifers are a subset of trees...

and trees... once fully established... should be free range... never really needing anything ... bugs/disease aside ..

but what is imperative.. is getting them ESTABLISHED ... after a transplant .. and that means getting the roots settled in and working... and that is accomplished thru deep watering.. thru the whole root mass planted.. and near drying in between ... conifers.. have a lot of needles.. to maintain..while repairing the insult ... i consider all trees... free range by year 3 ... with onoly watering in year 2.. in drought... presuming proper mulching ...

i asked about potted.. because filed dug BB.. ball and burlap.. has its own set of problems.. as in cutting off too many roots ...

potted stock.. on the other hand.. has its own problems of circling roots ... of which there are many old posts ...

why one out of 6 failed.. who knows.. i am sure you are gardener enough.. that they should have all taken... but one didnt.. but 5 did .. so what ... it was.. most likely a stock issue... whatever it may have been ...

i cant grow these.. but have not heard great things about them.. so i would definitely.. find other things.. for replacement ...

i wish you luck


    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 9:02AM
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bart_2010(8/9 Italy)

Thanks, Ken, but I haven't given up on Number 6 yet; I moved it to an area with great air circulation, far from the others, just in case. I think I do remember one of the 6 as being a bit smaller than it's maties; maybe it's this one. However, I noticed a curious thing when re-planting it. I put it's rootball into a bucket of water, and was rather astounded to see a bit of bubbling from the root-ball, as if it hadn't been recieving enough water; incredible, after all the rain we've had! So maybe now that I've re-planted it and will be obliged to water it regularly for quite a while (i.e.,coddle it a bit),I'm hoping it will buck up. To me, cypresses are such beautiful trees and tend to do very well in this climate/ area (after all, they are known as "ITALIAN" cypress trees!),and I think that it's quite possible that they only have a lot of issues in certain circumstances. But to me, all plants are like that. So I'll see how it does. Of course, if after this move it still has problems, then I will trash it! bart

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 5:44AM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

Bart, your page says you live in the United States.
I'd sure like to visit Tuscany some day. I only got as far as Milan.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 4:39PM
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bart_2010(8/9 Italy)

I never looked at my page, Mike! I guess GW just puts stuff on one's page automatically or something;I guess I should try to check it out...bart

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 4:10AM
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