Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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 Non-Natives Questions

Transplanting of non-native Vitex
April 29, 2006 - I live in El Paso and have a fifteen year old vitex tree planted too close to a mesquite tree in my backyard. As a result of this, the vitex has failed to thrive. My question is this: can I replant ...
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native, invasive Bauhinia variegata
March 03, 2006 - I live in Fellsmere just south of Melbourne and we have about 5 orchid trees on our property; one is fairly tall, about 20 ft, and the others are about 6 ft tall. My smaller ones have several air p...
view the full question and answer

Problem with non-native weeping willow
September 18, 2008 - I have a weeping willow tree that is approximately 6 years old..The problem is a fibrous growth is growing between the trunk & the bark -pushing the trunk & bark away from each other..Not sure what it...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native navel orange
October 03, 2008 - Hello Green Guru, Question: Why hasn't Navel Orange Tree grown or sprouted new branches? It's 3 years old and is about 5 feet tall and has remained this size. It hasn't grown at all. It only ha...
view the full question and answer

Liquid glucose as substitute for sunlight from New York City
December 16, 2012 - I am curious to find out whether liquid glucose can be poured as water for mung bean plants as substitute for no sunlight. Is the possible? Will a specific amount of glucose need to be used? Can liqui...
view the full question and answer

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