Italian Cypress Insect Pests and Diseases in South Florida

If you have an Italian Cypress Cupressus sempervirens you have experienced the frustration of dealing with Italian Cypress Insect Pests and Diseases in South Florida, the fungal disease producing this brown spots that die back on the tree.

Italian Cypress Insect Pests and Diseases in South Florida

Background on Italian Cypress

Cupressus sempervirens commonly called Italian Cypress it is a Mediterranean evergreen conifer that is native to south Europe and West Asia including Crete, Rhodes, Turkey and Iran.

In the United States it is grown and distributed along western coast to the southern base from Washington state down to California across to south Florida.

For more information and taxonomy on Italian Cypress Cupressus sempervirens visit https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st225

Disease of Italian Cypress

The greatest problem with growing and using Italian Cypress in south Florida is the high humidity in excess of 100% in the summer and the high amount of rain in excess of 80 inches per year which makes the tree more susceptible to cypress canker caused by a disease by the pathogen Seiridium spp. Which courses the brown patches and dieback.

The more rain and humidity the more the disease spreads. Remember it’s a Mediterranean plant just because you can grow it here does not mean it will do well in south Florida.
Italian Cypress Insect Pests and Diseases in South Florida canker

Cultural Practices of Italian Cypress

Most of the trees that are affected are trees planted in the wrong location where there is partial shade or excess water or worse both. Italian Cypress in south Florida will perform better if planted in areas that have full sun on all sides. Which will allow tree to dry off when wet when the sunlight burns off excess water.

Most people will see a cypress planted on either side of the front door of a house either in another home or in a magazine and assume they can do it in their home. Just because someone does something doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do for the plant.

If you plan to plant a cypress in south Florida you will have a fungus problem at onetime or another with cypress canker disease and you should have it treated with a fungicide at the first sign of symptoms and follow up treatment and inspections are required to know if you have archived control. Control is described as the disease has been controlled for now when fungicide residual are gone and the perfect conditions that triggered the disease are present the cypress will experience another outbreak of the disease.

Misdiagnosis is common by homeowners and landscapers are common as insect pest damage or deficiencies meaning it needs a fertilizer or micro nutrient, some might think it’s a seasonal change Italian cypress is an evergreen and dose not have seasonal changes in south Florida.
Italian Cypress Insect Pests and Diseases in South Florida scale insect
Cypress is susceptible to scale insects and spider mites that are tiny but usually dose not cause severe visible damage.
Italian Cypress Insect Pests and Diseases in South Florida scale

Prevention is key to controlling fungus, avoid direct irrigation or placing under a roof that has a waterfall affect, avoid planting in shaded areas install in full sun. If legions appear you can prune the infected branch to avoid spread to other branches. Equipment should be sterilized after use to avoid spreading disease to other plant.

Also root rot is common plant in an area that drains well avoid planting in areas that puddle.

Treatment Options for Italian Cypress

Treating infected plant is vital at first sign with a product such as Heritage which is a systemic fungicide.

Some may prefer to treat with a more natural product like copper CuPro 5000 is a great product but copper fungicide.

Cupro can stain surface like walls and wind drift could stain vehicle you should avoid spraying if winds exceed 5 miles per hour with any pesticide always fallow label direction and your local laws.

If this seams like more trouble than its worth you may want to hire a professional shrub and tree care company.

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