I transplanted a ~7 foot tall leyland cypress two months ago (in May, I'm located in Maryland) and the needles began to brown after about 1 month. browning needlesBrowning started mostly near the bottom but now has moved up the tree. I've seen some sap too.cypress sap

The new location is partial shade, it was mostly sun before transplanting. The tree was also planted a little deeper than before for fear of tipping over before the roots were re-established.deeply planted cypress

I thought maybe the browning was shock. But now I'm not sure. I also planted a newly purchased ~3 ft cypress near it and it is doing well.

Could the tree have been planted too deep? Any other suggestions?

1 Answer 1


That's a pretty big tree to transplant. especially in May, it would have had an extensive root system which you will have inevitably damaged just as the weather is warming up, making it difficult for the tree to settle in to its new situation. It should also have been replanted at the same depth as previously, but there is another problem with the tree - there is a visible crack in the second photo which is oozing amber coloured sap,so its got gummosis. If the discharge is also smelly, then it's bacterial flux, and your tree will not survive that. Gummosis is quite common in stone fruit trees, but with this tree, something has caused a problem which may be related to the transplantation or some other cause. Some advice regarding gummosis here https://www.thoughtco.com/bleeding-tree-gummosis-solutions-1342685 but I'm not sure how much use that will be.

If you've not been watering much, then increase your watering to the base of the tree in hopes it recovers, but otherwise, keep an eye on the progress of the gummosis and a check on the stability of the tree, and remove it if it gets worse and the tree is obviously dying.

As for your new cypress, that had an intact rootball, being new and not dug up out of the ground, so there's no reason why that one should be suffering the same way as the transplanted one.

  • Thanks Bamboo. I don't believe the sap discharge has an off-smell, but I'll double check. Do you think I should remove some of the soil around the trunk? The more I look at it, the more I'm concerned it might cause rot. Commented Jul 14, 2018 at 20:08
  • It might be a bit late to worry about that, given the gummosis higher up, but by all means move away the soil to the previous level on the trunk.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Jul 14, 2018 at 21:38
  • It died, slowly turning brown throughout. Thanks again, Bamboo. Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 19:23

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