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Why Is My Leyland Cypress Turning Brown From The Inside Out?

Why is my Leyland cypress turning brown from the inside out

Leyland cypresses offer not only a majestic height but also environmental aesthetic and a variety of uses.

The Leyland cypress can reach up to a height of 50feet, which is ideal for providing privacy fencing in your home. It is a perfect plant and has a mixed resistance to insects attract and rot.

Unfortunately, it is quite common for Leyland Cypress to start turning brown. Let’s take a look at the most common causes of such issues.

Reasons Why Your Leyland Cypress Is Turning Brown From Inside Out.

1. Insects

The bagworm is one major enemy of the Leyland cypress tree.

They tend to weave the Leyland cypress needle fragments to form bags and can attach entirely on the trees.

The bags typically contain the insect larvae that then pupate to adult moths.

As the insects continue to grow, they feed on the needles, which makes them turn brown. Also, check if there is any form of webbing, which is a sure sign of infestation.

This dramatically affects the plant as they reduce the chlorophyll matter. The spruce spider mites are also a major enemy of the Leyland cypress.

They tend to feed on the plant by extracting needle sap through their mouths.

If you find yellow striped leaves or brown needles, be sure that there is a heavy infestation.

How To Solve Insect Infestation

Certain pesticides can be used to control the insects; however, when the tree is mature, it is not recommended. Also, ensure you closely monitor the plant regularly.

2. Canker Diseases

Certain fungal pathogens can enter through the tree bark and cause cankers. Lesions tend to form on the twigs and branches.

They then cut off nutrients from reaching the tree branches making them die, and the needles start to turn brown.

The cankers easily affect stressed plants and can even show a dark brown or purple discoloration.

How To Solve Canker Diseases

To treat this, prune out infected branches and sterilize equipment you use in maintaining the tree.

Also, maintain a proper irrigation system and use relevant fungicides to help solve the issue when the plant is still small.

3. Blight

This mainly causes the Leyland cypress needles to turn brown and drop.

It usually starts on the lower branches. The fungal disease spreads from branch to branch by rain or wind.

The first damage is generally on the needles near the tree trunk or lower branches.

The disease then moves outward and upward. In some instances, the lower canopies also turn brown.

Heavy rainfall can also escalate the issue.

How To Solve The Blight Issue

Always place the tree shrubs far apart to allow easy passage of the sun and air to prevent needle blight.

Also, you can decide to prune out infected branches through the help of a fungicide.

Ensure you water the plant minimally to prevent blight from forming.

4. Stressed Leyland Cypress Tree

Is your plant stressed or weak? This might make it susceptible to plant diseases that cause browning.

If your plant is straining to get the right amount of sunlight, air, water, or any necessity, it can easily succumb.

Also, moisture stress is a major issue if the roots haven’t spread well in the surrounding soil.

Thus, you need to water often to prevent it from being waterless. Also, drought stress and heat can be a major factor.

How To Solve Leyland Cypress Stress

You need to provide the right care to ensure it remains healthy. This is mainly by growing the plant where there is a good amount of sunlight and partial shade. Also, provide well-drained soil.

5. Rot

Root rot problems can easily cause browning of the tree parts. The fungal disease mainly affects newly cut stumps on trees that then transmits to the cypress trees.

The fungal pathogens work their way into roots and infect the plant.

The trees then start showing diminishing health and cause the plant to start turning brown.

How To Solve Rot

You need to treat fresh stumps to make them stronger or remove the tree stumps after cutting.

There is no specific chemical that can solve this. However, you need to ensure proper drainage of the tree.

6. Transplanting And Unfavourable Weather

Interior browning is normal but can be increased by transplanting. This makes the trees to be stressed and even deter their growth.

The weather of an area can also cause the cypress tree to be unwell. If the weather is not stable, it can easily affect the tree and cause browning.

Winter season can greatly affect the plants because of the cold atmosphere and rain. Their shallow root system also makes them weak.

If the water-conducting tissue dies, it can also cause a major issue to the Leyland cypress.

How To Solve This

Ensure you transplant using healthy materials and plant the tree in a good place with appropriate weather.

If not, find the right kind of species that is sustainable in the area. Also, prune till where there is green coloring matter and remove the destroyed part.

However, if one-third of the tree is affected, it can’t easily recover.

7. Shedding Of Inner Foliage

The evergreens tend to shed some of the inner foliage over time.

If it is only the inner foliage turning brown, it is normal shedding if the rest of the plant looks fine.

The Leyland cypress is a fast grower, and this is what prompts them to shed inner needles to make room for new growth.

Due to this natural cause, using fungicides can’t help and may even cause damage.

How To Solve The Shedding Of The Inner Foliage

Provide the requirements if it is growing properly. However, you can still consult a professional to be completely sure.

Care And Maintenance Of The Leyland Cypress To Ensure Full Potential

This fantastic plant species tend to grow three feet or more per year. Thus, it makes ideal as a privacy hedge or lawn tree.

For the full potential of the tree, it is essential to grow it in direct sunlight or partial shade where there is well-drained soil.

The area shouldn’t be that windy to prevent it from being blown over.

Moreover, plant the tree along the soil line to ensure it is the same height as the surrounding environment.

After planting, fill the hole again with the same soil removed and ensure you don’t leave any air pockets.

During drought, ensure you water them deeply, but not excessively. It also doesn’t require regular fertilization.

Also, be cautious not to prune during damp weather as it can easily lead to disease.

This allows it to grow up to a height of 50m. Due to their high tolerance for water, this makes them an ideal choice for coastal regions.

It also acts as a protection to shorter plants and windbreak.


You need to take proper care of your Leyland cypress tree. Also, whenever you find disease infestation, take abrupt measures.

If the case is too severe, you can decide to consult a professional to help you solve the issue.

Take care of your trees and plants to ensure they reach their full potential.