Problems of Bald Cypress

Bald Cypress trees are considered to be generally free from disease and insect pests. In some cases, Bald Cypress will have roots growing up on the surface of the soil. For solutions to these surface roots see the file Dealing With Surface Tree Roots

The following problems are seldom found in the home landscape.

SymptomsProbable Causes
Needles Turn Yellow - When Bald Cypress needles turn yellow in the middle of the growing season, the tree may be suffering from chlorosis. New growth at the ends of twigs is slowed and the tree develops a stunted appearance. Damage is more severe and obvious on new growth rather than established growth. There is a real possibility that entire branches will die, and eventually the whole tree might succumb if the condition is not corrected. Chlorosis - Usually chlorosis is caused by either lack of iron in the soil or its presence in a form that the tree can not take up into its system. Afflicted Bald Cypress may need slightly more acid soil to improve its access to iron, so add peat moss, sulfur or used coffee grounds to lower soil pH. Avoid using limestone or wood ashes that make soil more alkaline.
Needles Brown; Drop in Season - Because they are essentially water loving trees, Bald Cypresses are sensitive to drought. If their soil dries out for too long a period, their foliage betrays their stress by turning brown and dropping as if it were fall. Drought - Water these trees during periods of sparse rainfall, soaking the soil well weekly. Trees that have dropped their foliage usually recover.
Needles Marked With Lines; Webbed TogetherCypress Moth - The female cypress moth is small. Distinguished by her yellow color and fringed wings, she also has black markings. Moth larvae feed on Bald Cypress leaves. The tiny worms tunnel into the tissues and then, toward the end of the summer, bind the needles together in bunches. It is important to catch them right away in late spring, before the worms enter the needles or webs.
Needles YellowedWebbed Mites - Mites are tiny spider-like pests barely visible to the naked eye. They have piercing, sucking mouth parts with which they feed on tree foliage. Look for pale foliage, and a fine webbing around needles and stems. Mites usually attack trees that are under some sort of stress-either heat, drought or attack by another pest.
Spots On Needles; Cones; BarkTwig Blight - A fungus sometimes attacks Bald Cypress and other conifers that are already weakened by some other problem such as mites, temperature extremes or drought. Spots appear on needles and other tree surfaces and in wet seasons some twigs die back. Usually the problem is not severe enough to require treatment