The Italian Cypress tree grows to a height between 40 and 60 feet. Normally less than 3 feet wide, these trees form a tall column of green boughs. Italian Cypress trees make a thick screen when planted close together. These evergreen trees provide interesting additions to formal landscapes and accents near structures and buildings. Although attractive when healthy, Italian Cypress trees often suffer from certain types of illness and diseases.
Like many types of conifers, Italian Cypress trees suffer from a variety of canker disease. Cypress canker results from fungal spores entering small cracks and wounds formed in the bark of the tree. Drought and nutrient deficiencies weaken many trees, making them very susceptible to this type of disease. Cypress Canker causes Italian Cypress trees to exhibit leaking sap from areas along the trunks and branches. Yellowed branches often appear overnight in trees affected by this condition. This disease spreads quickly among trees planted close to one another. This condition requires quick treatment with a chemical containing copper oxychloride or phosphoric acid in the form of a spray or injection.
Although named for a different type of evergreen species, Juniper Blight commonly causes illness in Italian Cypress trees. The first symptom of this disease appears in the form of brown needles near the base of the trunk. The fungus responsible for this condition causes Italian Cypress trees to begin loosing needles from the lower branches, moving upwards towards the top of the tree. Several types of fungicide treatments cure this illness when applied to the tree. Successful treatment often requires repeated applications of fungicide over a period of weeks.
Root rot, caused by a variety of fungus, adversely affects many types of trees, including Italian Cypress trees. This fungus attacks the roots of trees in wet locations. Symptoms of this disease show up during the months of June through September, causing circular dead areas to appear in healthy trees. Wilted and decaying taproots also signal the presence of the fungus responsible for root rot. Because this fungus lives in the soil, the appearance of dead grass and plants in the area often coincide with the appearance of symptoms in trees. Treatments include the application of fungicides and the addition of soil amendments.