The Cypress shelter belt has been used for decades for wind protection and boundary privacy. Thousands of properties throughout the country would have planted these trees as juveniles and seen them grow up to a height where they start to become trimmed and maintained. Some are kept as low hedges bordering lifestyle blocks and garden areas, and others were left to grow to their full potential to protect kiwifruit orchards and other fruit production.
Unfortunately, the once thick and healthy hedges are under attack from a widespread disease called Cypress Canker. This fungal disease found its way here from California in the 1970’s and has severely affected hedgerows around NZ ever since. Cypress Canker is caused by several species of fungi whose spores enter the plants through natural fissures in the bark or through injuries caused by gardening equipment or falling branches. The fungus interferes with the sap-conducting system, eventually causing the death of the branch or main trunk above the wound. Older trees are usually more susceptible but any tree is susceptible if stressed, for example, by drought or poor nutrition. Spores are carried on rain splashes or by insects, birds and other animals. They can also be transferred from plant to plant on pruning tools, or through the transport of infected cuttings or plants.
Once the trees show signs of the foliage browning off and the trunks losing bark, it is only a matter of time before the trees die completely. Trees also become unstable as the root system begins to rot and they are more likely to fall over in strong winds. The longer the trees are left, the more brittle they become and removal does become more difficult.
Using machinery, such as excavators with log grapples and whole tree wood chippers, can make short work of the dead trees and tidying up your property. Another option is cutting the trees at ground level and stacking them into burnpiles where they can be disposed of straight away or left if it is the wrong season for burning off.
Over the years we have removed hundreds and hundreds of meters of dead or declining Cypress trees and shelterbelts with the end result being a nice clean area to replant or a general tidy up of the boundary or fenceline. If you have affected Cypress trees on your property or need advice or help with any other tree removal projects please give us a call.