Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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 Trees Questions

Roots in foundation of home in Audubon NJ
February 17, 2012 - I live in an old house (almost 90 years old), and within the past year I have noticed in one area the concrete basement floor breaking. Today I finally made time to investigate. In these old houses ...
view the full question and answer

Soil for Emory Oak from Dripping Springs, TX
April 15, 2012 - I bought an Emory Oak today at the Wildflower Center's plant sale. Upon reading about it when I got home, I see "it won't grow in alkaline soils." I was hoping to plant it in the riparian area ...
view the full question and answer

Removal of burned tree stump from Weir TX
September 24, 2012 - Hello, I am the community manager for Country Glen, LLC In Weir, Texas 5 miles north east of Georgetown Texas. Simple question I need to remove a large Arizona Ash that was burned buy fire I need th...
view the full question and answer

Possible identification of Physocarpus opulifolius
June 11, 2007 - Can you please tell me what kind of tree has a maple leaf and a white snowball flower?The young and very small tree was already here when i bought my home,it stands only 7 feet tall with a 2 inch t...
view the full question and answer

Control of live oak suckers by cutting
July 23, 2007 - How do I control the Live Oak root suckers? At the moment we are cutting them as they come out of the ground.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.