Q: My Italian cypress has rust spots and I assume that is some sort of fungus. What do you recommend?
A: In my experience Italian cypress is relatively short-lived. It grows wonderfully fast for a few years, looks majestic for a few more, then falls victim to spider mites, root rot or branch cankers. The cankers can be pruned out if that’s the problem. Check all of your trees to be sure no mulch is touching the trunk base. If the sickly trees continue to decline and if you decide to replace them, make sure the planting area is amended with pea gravel for quick drainage.