Help me help my junipers
August 3, 2005 10:46 AM   Subscribe

Why are my juniper bushes sick?

I've had a hedge of juniper bushes that is now about 25 years old. Suddenly, one of the bushes started turning brown and part of it died. Now another part of the bushes is dying next to it. Here is a photo:

posted by crazy finger to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
These look like cedars, not junipers. The problem could be lack of water, mice, or mites. The roots go well out from the base, and if there was recent digging or paving, the water might not reach the affected plants. Do you have mice in the yard or house? Dig at the base of the tree to look for bark stripped off by mice. Mites would turn cedars dusty grey, but probably not dead brown. Google Groups or UBC Botanical Gardens may help further.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:15 AM on August 3, 2005

Once a juniper starts to get crisp and brown, even in a section, there's little hope--it's already dead. But, like wgp says, these don't look like junipers.
posted by ijoshua at 11:34 AM on August 3, 2005

As w-gp noted, those don't look like junipers. You may want to investigate pinewood nematodes to see if that's your problem. Unfortunately, if it is, you can kiss those trees goodbye.
posted by joaquim at 11:39 AM on August 3, 2005

Your trees look like Emerald Green Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis). I have no idea why they are dying, but it seems to happen to some trees of that variety while others survive. Perhaps they have achieved their life expectancy?
Have you checked for red spider mites? (Tap a branch over white paper/cardboard. Smear with your fingers. If there are red steaks, no-see-ums are present. Go to garden store for spray to kill them.)
posted by Cranberry at 2:44 PM on August 3, 2005

Bagworms can kill junipers and spruce very quickly. Most common insecticides can kill them, though. At this time of year, you need to look for the bags. Google bagworms and you'll find lots of photos. I lost a couple of junipers this year to them, because i didn'r catch them in time.
posted by pjern at 4:26 PM on August 3, 2005

« Older How do you get a 750+ on the GMAT?   |   Thee ____ing _____s Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.