Hinoki Browning Tips

Hey All,
I am a little concerned about some browning tips on a hinoki cypress in my collection. Any guidance would be great!

This pic shows some of the healthier foliage.

This is some of the worst affected and the area has minimal new growth.

The last two show new growth emerging with a reddish or yellowish hue.

I’m wondering if it could be getting too much sun as the more shaded areas do seem a bit healthier.

Hi @ryan.marin
It’s always hard to tell from pictures, but you Hinoki looks fine. New tips may be more susceptible to colour change in the cold, and they could look different if they are about to push pollen cones. If you are worried you could check for mites by shaking over a sheet of paper?

As said by Andy it’s probably just winter colour. I don’t know what weather you have been having but I am guessing you may have had a few frosts and reduced light levels.

This is my Hinoki at the moment

We have had a few hard frosts with temps down to 20f so far this winter. It did the same last year. Given a month it should green up again, which I am waiting for so I can give it its first main styling.

Thank you for the replies! I’m in the SF Bay Area so freezes are not common. We had a few nights that got to about 32, but the tree has been protected from rain.
My intention is to repot within the next couple of weeks. The nursery soil it’s in is mostly clay. I think the tree must have been grown in the ground for some years and lifted with a backhoe. There is so much of this clay; I’ve never seen anything like it. The container is about 24” diameter and about 18” deep. I found the tree about 1 year ago at a small garden center. It was out of place but looked super healthy.

Since it was mentioned here, I figured I would continue this thread rather than start a new one. I’ve noticed today a large number of pollen cones starting on my hinoki. I wonder what the recommendation is on how to handle these. If I intend to attempt compacting foliage on this tree, and I want to direct energy into ramification and refinement, I know allowing cones to develop can depleat energy from conifers. Should I get rid of them all, or allow them to grow?

I would ignore the cones, let it grow, then prune in the Summer

@AndyK, thanks for the response. Noted. Is there any reason to NOT remove the cones? It seems to me that we don’t want trees exhausting their energy on things like this if we are still working them and the tree is not “finished” or show-worthy. Energy better spent elsewhere. I’m just curious if there is simply no benefit to keeping them. This is my first and only Hinoki, so it’s new to me. Thanks

I don’t know for sure, but my feeling is that you’re more likely to shock the tree with all that cutting?
The real question is how do the tips grow after the pollen cones are spent?
Also it will take forever!

@AndyK, fair enough. I have no idea how the tips will grow after the cones are spent. I’ve already noticed one spent cone this morning since taking that photo yesterday, so I guess I’ll know soon enough. If you think they’re better left as is I’ll take your advice.


I’m guessing they are male flowers…:roll_eyes:

Not the same species, but I removed newly developing pollen cones on a pine last year. It was the first time one of my trees attempted to reproduce and I had the same thoughts re: energy (my dad grew up on an apricot farm, so thinning fruit buds is seared into my mind). Anyway, it definitely damaged many of the growing tips. Fortunately it appears to have recovered, but growth will be slowed. Learning from my mistakes, fortunately not the hard hard way.

To my limited understanding it is the product of fruit and seeds that make the serious demands on plants. Much more than flowers or pollen. I have a crab apple, and always thin the fruit.