Q: I have a seven year old, fifteen foot tall Leyland cypress that still has the tie around the trunk where it was originally staked. The rope (with a plastic sleeve) has now grown into the tree trunk, preventing me from removing it. The tree is a little stunted, compared to the others next to it, but for the most part it looks fine. However, it is starting to lose some limbs just above the tie. Is there any way to save this tree or is it doomed to die?
A: Tree staking ties should always be removed after six to twelve months. Young trees grow quickly and the tie will become engulfed by bark otherwise. The buried tie on your cypress has interfered with water transportation to the upper parts of the tree. Maybe the best thing to do is to wait and see what happens. Leyland cypress is remarkably tolerant of physical damage and it might just grow around the blockage and recover its health. Pay attention to watering it this summer and report back next year.