En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - December 10, 2012

From: Fuquay-Varina, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders, Pests, Trees
Title: Non-native Chamaecyparis pisiflora turning brown in Fuqua-Varina NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a "Soft Serve False Cypress" Chamaecyparis pisifera'Dow Whiting PPAF, that has only been in the ground for 6-7 months. I just noticed that the branches and leaves are starting to die, turning brown from the inside toward the outside. What could be the problem and how can I fix it.

ANSWER:

From Garden Adventures Nursery, here is an article on how this plant was developed for commercial use. Apparently the development of this plant began with a mutation on Chamaecyparis pisiflora 'Boulevard'.  We believe the 'Boulevard' is a trade name for Chamaecyparis pisiflora, which is native to Japan. When you have followed the trail of how this plant was developed, you will understand why there are so many factors involved, making it difficult to isolate a problem. Since the original plant is not native to North America, it falls out of our expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, where we specialize in the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which the plants grow naturally.

In our Native Plant Database, there are two members of the genus Chamaecyparis, from which we might find some clues:

Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (Port orford cedar) - Native only to northern California and Oregon. 

Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white cedar) - This species thrives in a cool, moist atmosphere where it is protected from drying winds. It is relatively free of serious disease or insect problems and not susceptible to apple-cedar rust. It does not compete with hardwood species. It is native to North Carolina.

We did a little investigating into the climate of Wake County, in central North Carolina, and discovered it is humid and therefore could be considered acceptable to your plant. One possibility that occurs to us is transplant shock, which can show up in a transplanted plant for up to 3 years after it has been planted. Trimming of dead branches and checking for damage to the trunk are usually recommended.

We found a website, University of California Integrated Pest Management, on Pests and Diseases of Chamaecyparis. From eHow, here is an article on Chamaecyparis Diseases.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Difficulty with Clay Soil from Palm Bay, FL
August 22, 2012 - I had a very nice little native shady area behind my house for over 40 years, but now it has been cleared except for a 100 foot tall live oak in the center of this raised mound (50' x 80'). I've be...
view the full question and answer

Freeze damage to non-native Philodendron selloeum in Deltona FL
June 22, 2010 - My philodendrons selloeum died this past winter in the freeze,came back slowly this spring and now are suffering with very small deformed leaves. Some do grow but are getting large brown dry areas on ...
view the full question and answer

Pronunciation of non-native mutabilis from Austin
April 11, 2010 - How do you pronounce the rose name, "mutabilis"? Some friends say "mu TAB ilis" and others say "muta BIL is". Which is it? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Liriope spicata for erosion and dust suppression from Bonifay FL
August 16, 2011 - I want to plant Liriope 'spicata'. I know it can be aggressive and that's what I want. We live on dirt road and need something by road for help in erosion and it's also hard to mow this are...
view the full question and answer

Preventing seed production in non-native chinaberry in Yucaipa CA
July 04, 2009 - You were just asked about "keeping almonds from producing" I actually found your site to ask how to keep a chinaberry tree from producing its berries. I am considering renting a commercial property ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center