How to Care for a Diseased Italian Cypress Tree


Italian cypress trees (Cupressus sempervirens) form columnar shapes in yards and landscapes. Commonly used for accents around buildings, these trees reach a height near 50 feet and width around 3 feet. These narrow trees form fine-textured leaves that resemble scales along the branches. Like other types of trees, an Italian cypress may show signs of diseases. Care for your tree by recognizing and treating conditions that commonly affect these tall evergreens.

Step 1

Examine the boughs and bark of your Italian cypress tree. Look for small insects that eat the vegetation. Pests that commonly attack this type of evergreen include spider mites, scale insects and bagworms. If you find infestations of these small pests, treat your specimen with a pesticide listed for use on Italian cypress trees.

Step 2

Check the bark for evidence of cypress canker. This fungus causes your tree to develop patches of bark that resemble small, raised lesions along portions of the branches. These lesions may ooze resin as they enlarge. Prune off any growth that contains these patches. Remove the trimmings from the area of your trees. Fungicides can’t kill this canker and the only way to eradicate it is to remove the affected growth as soon as you notice the lesions.

Step 3

Trim away any overhanging branches from nearby trees that block the sunlight from reaching your Italian cypress tree. These trees require full sunlight and can suffer in shaded locations.

Step 4

Correct any drainage problems to prevent standing water near the trunk of your tree. If your tree stands in a depression, create a small trench that flows away from the trunk. Treat the soil around a diseased tree with a fungicide soil drench. These trees require good drainage and develop root rot in excessively moist soils. Do not over water your tree or place layers of mulch near its trunk. Rake away any rotting leaves, grass clippings or other vegetation that traps moisture in the soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Pesticide Pruning shears Branch saw Fungicide Rake


  • University of Florida: Italian Cypress
  • Bartlett Tree Experts: Plant Health Care Recommendations for Italian Cypress
  • San Diego Master Gardeners: Italian Cypress
  • “Botanica’s Gardening Encyclopedia”; Susan Page; 2001
Keywords: Italian cypress tree, treat cypress tree, cypress diseases

About this Author

Piper Li, a professional freelance writer, began writing in 1989. Her articles appear in Modern Mom, Biz Mojo, Walden University and GardenGuides. She is the co-editor for "Kansas Women: Focus on Health." With a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Mesa State, Li enjoys writing about health, horticulture and business management.