Afternoon, I have a tree that I'm guessing is a Leyland Cypress? This is the story of this poor tree....
My husband & I had an extension built onto our kitchen about 5 years ago in which when he had built a new brick wall between us and the neighbours drive he had to cut a good sized root off of it, looked to be one of the smaller main ones.... We also purposely built our extension up on beams so that the roots would be able to grow under the new build.
About that same time during the windy days of Autumn, he didn't like that the tree swayed back and forth so he lopped off about 2-3 feet from the top (also to keep it away from neighbours phone lines). Well, the tree continued to grow back up and it looked pretty happy. Then about 2 years ago, he again lopped off a bigger chunk from the top...about 4-5 feet, I wasn't happy about it but he said that would make sure the wind wouldn't catch it and blow over and damage the kitchen extension, we also had to accomodate the neighbours requests to trim it back on their side of the wall. The poor thing started to look a bit rough now.
At the end of May last year (2012), I noticed some wasps flying around the lower branches of the tree and saw black soot on the bottom side and instantly thought, aphids were there. I couldn't see any so they probably had buggered off by then. Well then the brown started coming afterwards, almost on most of the lower branches but then it started going up and up....needles last year were dropping all over and I thought that maybe it'll recover. Just last week I broke off a couple of branches to see if there's any moisture (about the thickness of a finger) and all branches are bone dry. I've cut into the bark today to see if there's any sign of life and the inside is quite supple and moist still. So is it dead? Or is it in complete shock? It's been a cold, hard winter and a dry summer but I don't understand how it could be so wet still on the inside... any help is appreciated greatly. Either I get it cut...husband will protest against that or do we have an ugly tree for a few years??? before hopefully green shoots appear??