Hinoki cypress needles yellowing

I noticed yellowing at the base of the needles that I didn’t notice yesterday. This is on both of my 2 Hinokis and fairly widespread. The tips look good. Are they getting too much water with the onset of rains, or could this be another problem?

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Do you have a picture?

It might be normal dropping of older foliage.

It would be healpful to know what region you are in, too.
Put in your avatar.
I’m in the Inland Pacific NW. My Hanoki has yellowing fronds. Fall. Hit 28F two nights ago. Been 45 most days.


Portland OR. This is my first post so still trying to figure things out. Thanks

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How recently did you wire those branches? That looks to be a little bit more than normal hinoki foliage shedding.

I would consider this a bit more normal

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This tree was wired summer 2019 with first potting this spring. This seemed to come on quite suddenly.

I had a similar reaction from a hinoki, likely due to being too rough during the wiring process… I lost quite a few braches this way. that taught me a valuable lesson and on the second hinoki that I wired, I didn’t lose a single branch.
I hope yours will recover without too much loss.

I would think the wiring, being a year in, is less important than the repotting. Any details on the repotting…like how much of original soil was removed, and what did your new soil consist of? If that seems not to be the case, I would think about water regime (is soil retaining too much/or is it too thirsty) and then finally disease or infestation.

Considering the timing since spring and recent turn, I might also wonder if it just didn’t handle the crappy late summer/fall and was stressed by that.

Incidentally, I repotted a Hinoki this spring too, and it seemed to thrive this year despite the crappy Portland weather of late. I will post a pic of the repot and today when the sun comes up. I kept the water to it and assume it drained well…but honestly didn’t pay too much attention to it…but only because I had many other plants that required attention more. You have reminded me that I should inspect it!

So, since the fires, I have had less time in the garden than usual for fall. That’s the excuse!

But looking at the 3 Hinoki I have the two larger ones are both showing some signs of what you are seeing…but also some nice fresh growth around most of the crown of the foliage.

I don’t think I would panic too much…as it looks like yours is just displaying a bit more of the usual transition that Hinoki go through…strong growth at the crown/perigery and abandonment of interior foliage. But, if you are not seeing good fresh green tips anywhere on the crown, that would be more worrisome…and again I would look at soil/water conditions.

I plan to remove most of the dead/dying and mostly interior shaded foliage, and make sure they will drain well during the coming rains…and then hope for the best.

Sorry for the sideways posted pics…anyone know how to keep that from happening?


It is occurring in crown, but there also has been steady growth throughout. Drainage has been good. Potted in 2 or 3 :1:1 Akadama, lava, pumice. Gentle root work; perhaps pot too large. My first potting season so eager beaver! Probably should have waited another year or two for better root establishment. I have it tipped to enhance drainage now. Photo of the crown.
Thanks for all the input!

I think your potting was perfect…and no such thing as too big a pot except for aesthetics.

Having ruled out soil, water and root work, I am confident it will rebound…and there isn’t much else to be done if it doesn’t get worse. Make sure it can drain during the winter and it should be fine.

If others have more experience with what is being seen here, please offer advice. I too am a newbie in many respects and haven’t seen enough problems to be a great troubleshooter for diseases or conditions not cured by reporting. I have killed more trees than saved them with neem oil or insecticidal soaps!

I am having the same problem - on newly repotted and those still in field soil. On wired and non wired branches. In addition to the yellowing, some of the sick branches have die-back on the tips. The crown on all is healthy, I sent to the forum and Ryan couldn’t put his finger on it. I will send a bit to the Oregon State folks and see if I get any answers. Will post if so.

…have you considered a fungus of some sort? I had a hinoki still in nursery container two weeks ago that had a handful worth of yellow

foliage. I did spray with Bayer/Bioadvance 3-1 and seems to be doing fine now. Just a thought.

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Yes, I considered a disease, but am not familiar enough to ID or treat. Since tilting the pot, there has been a flush of new growth which is encouraging. I cannot tell if the yellowing has stopped, but it seems to have slowed. I know Hinoki’s don’t like to be wet. Thanks.

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We recently published a new care guide for Hinoki cypress bonsai that may be of interest to anyone who’s been following this thread. We’ll be adding new species care guides to this list frequently, so check back for more to follow.

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