Can anyone tell me whats wrong with this shimpaku

kmdesigns

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I was given this shimpaku awhile back and repotted it this past spring. Every since then it just started to look really bad. Now it looks even worse. The foliage has been browning and falling off on one side. If anyone knows what it could be I'd appreciate the help.
 

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007

Sapling
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Where do you live?

When you repotted, how much of the roots did you trim?

What kind of sun does this tree get?

How often do you water it and how dry is the soil when you do water?

Can you see any kind of bugs?
 

kmdesigns

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I live in California. I repotted it in early spring and trimmed very little of the roots. It has been getting very little dappled sun and mostly shade since march. Right now I'm watering almost everyday because of how hot it's been. I haven't seen any bugs on it.

I'm thinking it may be fungal because I have another juniper about the same size. They were repotted together, using the same mix, the same amount of roots were removed and they've been next to each other in the yard, and this one is doing fantastic.
 

treebeard55

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Fungal, maybe. I can't see enough detail to offer an opinion on that. Your local Cooperative Extension office may well be able to help. (And they have nothing to sell you!)

My first thoughts tend toward a,) it needs more light, and b) how frequently do you water? I'm watering daily here in Indiana, and while it's hot here, CA is probably hotter.

The soil looks, in the pic, like it's free-draining. It is?

Unless your two junipers are cuttings from the same parent plant, the differences between them will be affected by simple genetics, too.
 

007

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I live in California. I repotted it in early spring and trimmed very little of the roots. It has been getting very little dappled sun and mostly shade since march. Right now I'm watering almost everyday because of how hot it's been. I haven't seen any bugs on it.

I'm thinking it may be fungal because I have another juniper about the same size. They were repotted together, using the same mix, the same amount of roots were removed and they've been next to each other in the yard, and this one is doing fantastic.
I'm in SoCal and I have to rotate my shimpaku daily to prevent scorching. Your tree however, does not sound like its getting burned (If anything, it may not be getting enough light).

You may also be overwatering . . . hot and in the shade doesn't mean the soil is dry. I keep my shimpaku on the drier side.

Also, just because you don't see bugs doesnt mean they arent there. Take a sheet of plain white paper and place it under the branches. Tap each branch and shake it a bit . . . things will fall onto the paper, but if any of them are moving you've got yourself (likely) a spider mite problem.
 

mike108

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Its called spidermites! It needs to be sprayed immediately as i see youve already lost alot of the branches at the tips. go to your local gardenstore and get some insecticide i do not believe it is a fungus but im not excluding it but from my experience thats spidermites especially because its very discolored in the green areas.
 

jk_lewis

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To see if it is spider mites, lay a white sheet of peper uinder the tree and flick the foliage with your finger. If you see some brown or red dots on the paper that move around, those are spider mites.

Now,if you do have spider mites and before you go off somewhere and buy a poison, simply spray a hardjet of watr into the foliage. That shouls take care of your spider mite problem.

Then, an occasional watering by getting to the foliage wet (or misting occasionally) should prevent a reinfestation.
 

edro

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My first thought was spider mites. They love the heat of mid summer.
When you water, spray the foliage with a strong blast. The mites hate that and can't build up their numbers.

That soil mix looks like it has a lot of granite grit, so it doesn't hold much moisture.
Personally, it looks like it is a little too rocky, but if you are watering everyday, it should be fine.

Isn't it funny how when you have a problem, some people say you are watering too much, other say you aren't watering enough. :)
 

kmdesigns

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I really don't think its mites. I've done the white paper thing and nothing comes off the branches that moves. Also the other side looks relatively healthy. For some reason just this side is dying back. I'll try spraying the foliage with a jet for the next few days and see what happens.

The mix is a mixture of turface, pumice, cat litter and lava rock, with a small amount of organic compost for moisture retention. I tend to use cat litter as an inexpensive filler for some trees that I am growing out for a long period of time.
 

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treebeard55

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Just one side is affected? That suggests something may have gotten splashed or sprayed on that one side ... maybe road grime in unusual amounts after a rainstorm, maybe a dog came by and cocked his leg ... something of that nature.
 

mcpesq817

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It has been getting very little dappled sun and mostly shade since march. Right now I'm watering almost everyday because of how hot it's been. I haven't seen any bugs on it.
Keeping it in the shade could be the problem. Junipers like full sun. I have a shimpaku that had a pretty bad mite attack earlier this year, but I still left it in full sun and it's coming around nicely. In my opinion, shade plus watering every day is not a good combination for junipers.
 

Bonsai Nut

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I live in Southern California. My shimpakus are in full sun all day long. They are watered twice daily. I rotate them occasionally to make sure that one side doesn't loose foliage due to shade. I don't get burnt foliage...

For me shimpakus are all about full direct sun and good soil that is kept moist (but not soaking wet). Most of my shimpakus have moss on the soil, but every now and then I tear it all off and it grows back.
 
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yes, but the key is that they are "watered twice daily"... maybe why no burnt foilage ???
If you live further north where the sun is not as strong, or watering more often, than full sun is good...
I would not tell some one to put in the shade, just partial shade... watch that afternoon sun, which will dry out your foilage.
Watering all the foilage takes care of the mites... they don't like water!
 

kmdesigns

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So I have it where it is still getting dappled sun but a lot more of it. Do you suggest putting it out in full sun or will that kill it along with the stress its under?

I have another shimpaku that I'm absolutely sure has spider mites. Its on the side of my house and has turned that sickly grey. Some of the tips are beginning to brown. I sprayed it with a malathion insecticide a few days ago and now am just hitting it really hard with a water jet from a spray bottle every day. Is there a chance this one could survive or is it more than likely to far gone?

Thanks for all the help guys.
 
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So I have it where ...
I agree that it could be spider mites. Hydroponic stores have great miticides and Anderson nurseries also have general miticide/fungal/disease control products that work well too.

After you attack the mites (repeat treatment at lease twice) give the Shimpaku a more alkaline fertilizer. Roy Nagatoshi, the expert on Shimpaku, recommends a 12-12-12 fertilizer that is more alkaline, according to Roy if you're too acidic the tips will burn and the tree will suffer.

Let us know how it turns out.

JC
 

Dwight

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How do you test for soil pH ? I've thought about testing the runoff water but that would probably just test the pH of the runoff water. Maybe test the water before watering then test the runoff and see if the pH goes up ( indicating alkaline soil ) or down ( indicating acid soil ) .

Roy told me the same thing so I went and got some 13-13-13 fertilizer. Still have a very similar problem on my shimps. Lots of needle die back but on mine there is new growth right along side the dying/dead needles. I spray the foilage twice a day and have tested for mites and none were found. They are in direct sun for five to six hours. My water is VERY hard with a pH of 8.2 or more.
 
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