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Hot Springs, Ark. – In Arkansas, Leyland cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandii) is a common, fast growing ornamental evergreen that is suitable for screens, groupings
or as an isolated landscape tree. These trees can easily grow 3 feet per year and
reach heights upwards of 40 feet. In Arkansas, this tree is particularly susceptible
to a branch canker or branch dieback. Seiridium canker is perhaps the most significant
and damaging disease on Leyland cypress. This fungus is commonly associated with both
twig cankers and twig dieback. Left unchecked, the fungus can move into the main trunk
killing the entire tree.
This disease organisms attack plants that are stressed by environmental
factors, such as wounds, drought and freezing. The most obvious indication of the
disease is the browning and subsequent dieback of a leader or major side branch. Sunken,
dark brown cankers or patches develop on the affected branches near the transition
area of healthy and diseased tissues. Small, black fruiting bodies of this fungal
organism can often be seen within these areas. Affected branch tips turn yellow or
brown. The affected branches are usually randomly distributed on the tree. Underlying
woody tissue in the cankered areas is often gray or brown. Extensive resin ooze or
“bleeding” on diseased branches may also occur. This symptom resembles sap flow or
gummosis type symptoms. When branches are wet from rainfall or overhead irrigation,
the fungus advances rapidly, killing tissue in its wake. Entire trees may be killed
if the fungi are allowed to advance into larger branches and stems.
Infection typically takes place during wet weather. Microscopic spores
are disseminated primarily by splashing from overhead water. Infection occurs primarily
through tree wounds; however, one species of Seiridium can penetrate intact young
green leaves and shoots.
Cultural practices are important in disease management. All infected branches
should be pruned about 3 to 4 inches below the cankered area and destroyed as soon
as symptoms are observed. As an added precaution, disinfect pruning blades after each
cut with either 10 percent household bleach or 70 percent alcohol. Since this canker
disease is often associated with environmental and cultural stresses, plants should
be irrigated properly during lengthy drought periods. Field observations suggest that
trees grown in shady conditions are more prone to develop these canker diseases. If
the plants are irrigated by overhead means, this should be done during the early morning
hours. By minimizing overhead water, the level of disease spread can be reduced. Currently,
fungicides are not effective for controlling this disease.
Because of the widespread occurrence of this disease on Leyland cypress,
homeowners may wish to consider an alternative tree for the landscape. For a list
of suitable landscape trees, see FSA6126, Landscape Trees for Specific Uses, at www.uaex.uada.edu. Early detection and identification are important for effective
disease management strategies. If you have questions give me a call at 501-623-6841
or come by our office at 236 Woodbine.
Master Gardener Information
Master Gardener meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of each month at the Elks Lodge. They’re open to the public and guests
are welcome. For more information call the Extension Office at 623-6841 or 922-4703
or email Allen Bates at email@example.com.
Are you interested in joining an existing Extension Homemakers Club? EHC is the largest
volunteer organization in the state. For information on EHC contact Jessica Vincent
on 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have several 4-H clubs for our Garland county youth who are 5 to 19 years old.
For more information on all the fun 4-H activities that are available for our youth,
call Linda Bates at the Extension Office on 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email her at email@example.com .
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
By Allen Bates County Extension Agent - AgricultureThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Allen Bates County Extension Agent - Agriculture
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
236 Woodbine Hot Springs AR 71901
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal
access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to
participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension
office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible
persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national
origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information,
or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity