Leyland Cypress – Dead Branches at Bottom

Q: I have a double row of offset Leyland Cypress. I planted the one gallon container size six years ago. Started out great but over the past 1 ½ years the majority of them are turning brown starting at the bottom. Any suggestions?

A: This looks like cercospora needle blight. The characteristic symptom of the disease is that it spreads “up and out”.

Six Diseases of Leyland Cypress

Sadly, not a lot can be done once they are this far gone. The brown limbs at the bottom will not resprout.

I think you’ll have to bite the bullet and replace them. If you do, it’s critical that they be planted properly.

See Planting Leyland Cypress Correctly

Or maybe you could prune off the brown branches and plant smaller shrubs, like Japanese holly, Indian hawthorn, or azalea, around the base of the Leyland‘s.