Question About Blue Point Juniper Spiral

Filed Under: Shrubs, Insects, Insects · Keywords: Plant, Junipers, My, Garden, About, Hi, Other, Insects, Getting, Water · 3224 Views
I planted two blue point spiral junipers in my garden area about 1 year ago and noticed this spring 1 seems to be doing well but the other is brown/yellow color and I am afraid I have lost it to death. I have checked for insects spider mites etc and see no signs of infestation. One difference is the one that is not doing well is by a gutter and Im afraid is getting overwatered. Any advice would be nice as to how I can hopefully save this plant! Thank u


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5 Answers

Answer #5 · Stacy L's Answer · Hi John!

Hope you and your family had a happy 4th! Ive decided to go ahead and remove the junipers. I was trying to help save them but there is just too much browning dead limbs and not enough greening up. I hate to lose them but we are going to correct the drainge issue with the gutters as well as amend the soil futher down in those areas. We are really wanting to give spiral junipers another try after these issues have been fixed! When would you suggest the best time to plant new ones after corrections are made in the area? Would it just be better to wait until next spring? Thank you for all of your help!)


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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
Hi Stacy-I hate to hear this but it may be best. If there was too much die back throughout the shrubs it would damage the possibility of keeping a nice spiral pruned look without open areas that had to be cut out. The Blue Point Juniper makes a nice spiral topiary. Other shrubs such as the arborvitae, Dwarf Alberta spruce, and boxwoods also make great looking spiral pruned shrubs. Amending a larger planting area and extending the rain gutters away from this area should help greatly. If the soil is a heavy clay or there is a hardpan below the surface you might think about planting these shrubs higher than ground level. Planting them higher than ground level and tapering the surounding soil up to the top of the root ball will provide drainage more quickly away from the plants roots. If drainage continues to be a problem you might like these shrubs planted in large pots. Pots will drain well and can look nice against the home. Container grown junipers can be planted any time of the year. If they are balled and burlaped the best time to plant is in the fall which gives them time to develop a better root system before spring and the warmer weather. Sometimes it is hard to find nurseries that have a selection of topiary plants but your local quality nursery should be able to order a couple from one of their suppliers. I know Monrovia Nursery grows some topiaries. If your local nursery gets plants from Monrovia they should be able to order some for you.

6 years ago ·
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Answer #4 · Stacy L's Answer · Update: I went to observe the junipers and noticed the feeder roots above soil to look healthy. The junipers are still yellow with tiny bit of green inside. Im afraid I may have lost these not sure as to what else I can do)


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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
As long as there is some new growth appearing those limbs are of course still alive. I would check periodically to see if the limbs with browning needles are still alive with green tissue beneath the outer layer of bark. If brown the limb has died and should be cut off. If all still appears to be alive I would still give it time to see how much new growth may appear. If too many limbs have died it may be best to replace the plants as they may not fill back in as nice as you would like. If small feeder roots look healthy the plants have a chance of recovering if too much water was the problem. This problem will of course have to be corrected as the same problem will come again with any amount of rain dumping in the area by the gutters. Keep me up on any signs of recovery or decline.

6 years ago ·
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Answer #3 · Stacy L's Answer · It has been about 5 days and the juniper does not seem to be getting better or worse. Water has dried some from the area. Although Im sadly noticing the other juniper I have planted is starting to show the same browing/yellowing color as well :( this is also planted near a gutter but not as close. I went ahead and applied a systematic fungicide jic to see if it wld help some but no change although Im not sure how long it wld normally take these products to wrk. Would a scratch test be relevant to see if these junipers are dead? Hoping not to lose these :( Thank you!)


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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
Hi Stacy-With the entire plants turning yellow and a few of the lower limbs browning I still feel the problem has been too wet a soil. From the pictures it will take much more time for the plants to recover if it is possible they can. If the problem is Phytophthora root rot and the fungus like organism has moved throughout the tree they may not recover. If only waterlogging of the soil has caused the yellowing and not created an environment for the fungal disease they could recover. Even though you amended the soil in the planting hole the surrounding clay soil may be holding too much water making essentially a bowl that holds too much water around the plants. The fungal spores of Phytophthora root rot can easily move throughout wet soil infecting other plants near by. The second juniper has most likely been infected either by a spreading fungus and or the same wet soil condition that ha affected the first juniper. Systemic fungicides may help but may not be that effective if the fungus organisms have already entered many of the healthy roots. None of these will do much good until the problem of too much water is corrected. You can do the scratch test to find if any of the stems are dead and if so you can remove them. I would dig up the worst looking plant and look closely at the root system. If the roots look black and soft as if they are rotting this is most likely root rot. I'm thinking you will find a small amount of new smaller or finer feeder roots as these may not have developed being in a saturated soil. If root rot is the problem these plants will have to be removed and the problem of poor drainage corrected. If the soil doesn't drain quickly the entire planting area should be dug up and amended. If there is a hard pan of sorts seveal inches below the surface the water table will be high and planting shrubs on a mound may be the best solution for better drainage. Rain gutter drainage will have to be diverted away from this planter area to stop any flooding at times of the area.

6 years ago ·
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Answer #2 · Stacy L's Answer · Hi John!

I checked the soil and it is wet! I pulled back the mulch around the Juniper to help dry it out a bit. Would I be able to use a fungicide treatment to help cure the issue or am I looking at a lost cause? :( The soil is a clay soil and the flower bed was amended last year before planting but I am guessing this is something I may have to do more often to help loosen the soil.

Thank you!)


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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
Stacy-Sorry it took so long to get back to you. On vacation and finding it hard to stay on line in this location. Hopefully letting the soil dry out some will help with some recovery. A fungicide won't help if it is root rot that is harming the plant. Trying to drain any water away from the area will help. Time will tell if it is going to recover. If the roots haven't been damaged or been sitting in saturated soil too long the plant may start to recover. You could also try and dig up the plant, add more organic matter, and plant with the top of the root ball a few inches above ground level. Planting on a mound will help drain the excess water from around the root ball more quickly. The juniper don't transplant well but if it has only been in the ground for one season it may dig up well without damaging or cutting too many roots. No matter what you plant in this area the downspout drain will have to be diverted away from this area. Possibly adding a few feet of extension will keep this area from flooding. Let me know if the plant recovers after the soil has dried out for awhile.

6 years ago ·
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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Stacy-It does look as though too much or too little water may be the problem. Spider mites can also be a problem but it looks like the overall yellow coloring is most likely the problem with the gutter down spout in this area. If you have a clay soil this would even make the problem of drainage worse as the soil may be staying too wet for periods of time. Fungal diseases such as Phytophthora root rot, caused by too wet a soil, can cause some wilting and yellowing needles that will eventually turn brown and fall. Junipers require a well draining soil. Waterlogged soil literally drowns the roots keeping the roots from being able to absorb the oxygen and water needed for healthy growth. I’m thinking if you dig down 8 to 12 inches around the juniper you will find the soil wet. The soil should feel cool and moist but never to o wet or dry. If the soil is too wet let the soil dry out some before watering again. Does this area flood during rains and take some time before water drains down into the soil? Adding an extension to your downspout will help to divert the water away from this area. I can see some browning of the lower limbs which may also be an indication of too much water. Many times lower limbs may brown first with too much water. Too little water will normally starts to brown the entire plant with new growth being affected first. I noticed you are using a bark as mulch around the junipers. This is good to keep moisture in the soil during the warmer months but make sure the mulch is not piled up or spread up against the plants trunk. Mulch against the trunk of shrubs and trees can keep too much moisture against the plants which can cause additional fungal problems. Always keep mulch a few inches away from the trunks. Let me know what you find when checking for too wet or dry a soil.

John)



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