Dying Italian Cypress

I have created a bit of Italy in my backyard after a visit there. Flanking the fountain I planted two Italian Cypresses. One has died and the 2'nd one looks like it is not far behind. They flourished for about 3 years, the color went from deep green to gray, then needles drop. I cleaned up the needles and watered but don't know what to fertilize with. Want to replace the dead one and save the one that's left. They are so perfect in this spot. I live in the deep south, Augusta Ga/clay/hot.
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) sounds like the perfect tree for your needs visually. But it likes sandy, fast-draining soil so it might not be the right tree for the heavier Georgia clay you have. Your best bet might be to grow Leyland cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii), which is more forgiving about soil. It grows bigger than Italian cypress, but you can keep it sheared to the size you prefer.

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