Cypress Trees
Q.

Girdling Italian cypress

Zone 85375 | johneakins added on September 16, 2017 | Answered

I recently had one Italian cypress die--green six months ago, a little less green than the ones near it maybe, then gray and dead all at once three weeks ago. When getting ready to take it out, I saw that it has a support wire within a small hose girdling the trunk. The trunk has almost grown over the wire and hose, which circle the trunk multiple times. The other trees have the same support wire and hose embedded in their trunks. The trees are trying to grow around the wire, and it's too deep for me to get it all out without harming the tree. I don't believe the tree died from spider mites. We have been spraying them with strong flows of water, and the previous owner sprayed with pesticide every year. Could this girdling have killed the tree? Am I just waiting for the other trees to die the same way? Can I or should I try to get the wire out of the other trees?

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BushDoctor
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on September 16, 2017

Oh no! Yes that is unfortunate, and they were definitely girdled. It is never a good idea to use wires to hold trees, and as for being near fences.. That is also a no-go. Some trees will survive, and some are sensitive to it. ESPECIALLY if these wires are copper. I am afraid that Both leaving the wire, and trying to remove it will most likely lead to the death of the tree. I'm sorry, and I hope you can either get the wire out with too much damage, or hopefully the tree stops reacting to the wire.

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