Some branches are turning brown on one of my Arizona cypress trees. Are the black ladybugs that have appeared going to take care of the problem?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Jane in Texas: Arizona cypress (Cupressus arizonica) is native to central and southern Arizona. These evergreens are drought- and heat-tolerant once established, but are subject to sunscald. Typically when we see browning foliage it is either a moisture issue or potential disease. The good news is that this evergreen does not have a lot of insect or disease problems when given a minimum of six hours of full sun each day. They are, however, more susceptible to canker and blight when grown in areas of high humidity and too much moisture can also be a problem, so if it is planted in a space where the soil does not drain well this can become an issue. Ladybugs are a natural predator to many insects and the fact that they are on your tree may indicate an insect issue, but it is important find out why the foliage is turning brown. It would be a good idea to take a sample to your horticulture Extension agent at the County Cooperative Extension Service just to rule out any insect or disease problems.