Itoigawa Shimpaku Yellowing & Browning Help?

banemanot

Seedling
Messages
9
Reaction score
1
Location
Venice Beach, CA
Over the last couple of weeks my beautiful tree has been turning yellow and browning at the tips. I've been in constant care for this tree since I got it and now I'm not sure what is happening. Is anyone familiar with this coloring and cause?
 

Attachments

  • IMG_3134.jpg
    IMG_3134.jpg
    365.8 KB · Views: 82
  • IMG_3135.jpg
    IMG_3135.jpg
    291.5 KB · Views: 79
  • IMG_3136.jpg
    IMG_3136.jpg
    326.6 KB · Views: 86
  • IMG_3137.jpg
    IMG_3137.jpg
    271.5 KB · Views: 84
  • IMG_3138.jpg
    IMG_3138.jpg
    262.5 KB · Views: 91

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
Messages
10,884
Reaction score
22,325
Location
Charlotte area, North Carolina
USDA Zone
8a
Aside from physical damage like @Brian Van Fleet mentions above, I used to get brown tips like that on some of my shimpaku in Southern California, and never really knew why. Initially I thought it might be fungus like phomopsis, but over time I came to believe it was associated with bad water and salt buildup in the soil. If you use irrigated water in SoCal, you are watering with salty water. If you haven't had any rain in a long time, the salts can build up in your soil to the point that your trees may show damage.

I believe this is your water quality report

If you look at the water quality report, you can see high levels of chloride and sodium. They may not be a problem for plants in landscape, but in a container where you don't water deeply and the water evaporates before it drains, they can definitely build up. There is really not much you can do about it short of getting a reverse osmosis filter for your irrigation system or soaking your plant every now and then in a vat of distilled water. And pray for rain :( Make sure that when you water, you water deeply so that excess water flows out of the bottom of the pot (hopefully carrying off excess salts and minerals). Since I moved to NC, I have never seen these brown tips happen again... and I have over 30 different shimpaku.
 
Last edited:

banemanot

Seedling
Messages
9
Reaction score
1
Location
Venice Beach, CA
Thanks everyone for the responses. I'm in a state of "crazy".

BVF - I have never done pinching, so that can't be the cause.

Bonsai Nut - Thank you so much for the detailed response. I water very deeply and the tree is in an Anderson Flat so it pours out the bottom faster than I water. I thought it was phomopsis too and did a Clearys 3336F drench but that doesn't seem to be the case.
 

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
Messages
10,884
Reaction score
22,325
Location
Charlotte area, North Carolina
USDA Zone
8a
Well, since I can't really tell you it's not phomopsis, here is my go-to phomopsis treatment that I used in SoCal. It consisted of three anti-fungals that I would spray in the spring prophylactically.

Heritage, Clearys 3336 and Mancozeb

Apply 7-10 days apart.
 

pamboys09

Mame
Messages
139
Reaction score
58
Location
Delano, California
USDA Zone
9b
Well, since I can't really tell you it's not phomopsis, here is my go-to phomopsis treatment that I used in SoCal. It consisted of three anti-fungals that I would spray in the spring prophylactically.

Heritage, Clearys 3336 and Mancozeb

Apply 7-10 days apart.
@Bonsai Nut

Im seeing Tip Blight Phomopsis at this time, is this normal? or those only show on spring?
 

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
Messages
10,884
Reaction score
22,325
Location
Charlotte area, North Carolina
USDA Zone
8a
@Bonsai Nut

Im seeing Tip Blight Phomopsis at this time, is this normal? or those only show on spring?

Phomopsis can occur any time conditions are right, but it is usually more of a challenge when it is cool and wet... versus warm and dry.

However... if you are using an overhead watering system and are watering in the evening (and the foliage stays wet overnight) you may experience problems. It is best to water first thing in the morning, and then early afternoon (if needed) to allow foliage to dry before nightfall.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

Masterpiece
Messages
4,739
Reaction score
7,589
Location
Netherlands
@Bonsai Nut

Im seeing Tip Blight Phomopsis at this time, is this normal? or those only show on spring?
These can also be signs of poor root systems and/or working a tree out of season. Since you're just shown up on the forum, I think it's easy to mistake dying foliar tips with tip blight. That's an assumption from my end. They look almost identical to an untrained eye.
I strongly believe that if I'd made a new account and upload some pictures of the juniper I nearly killed this year, everyone would tell me it's tip blight. But it's not. It's dead roots not feeding the foliage, and the foliage not being strong enough to overcome that damage within a season. Tip blight would be more persistent.

Pictures always help. Take a mental note that tip blight (a fungal infection) sporulates, for this they need fruiting bodies (mushrooms, in essence). These fruiting bodies look like black specks, almost like regular bathroom molds but concentrated on the outside of a scale or needle. It's a fun exercise if you can find them in a google search for juniper tip blight. If these specks aren't present within a week after browning, it's not tip blight. Even needle junipers have those specks if it's tip blight. Heck, I'll even dare to put some money on it that half of the "tip blight" isn't even tip blight, but root or sap flow issues instead. Yes, junipers get their strength from their foliage.. But something needs to feed that foliage and when it doesn't, the system needs a reboot. This happens by killing off the most demanding parts of the foliage - with the same visual cues as tip blight, but minus the specks - and rebuilding from older or more solidified foliage. We tend to mist when we damaged roots, and then "tip blight" happens.. A wrong connection of the wrong dots.

I have junipers laying around in the undergrowth, constant humidity, very little sun and very little wind.. None of them, from Chinensis to Media, to Itoigawa, wildtype scropulorum and even ERC and osteospermum, none of them get tip blight. Not even the ones prone to tip blight.
Unless there's some heavily infected plant in the vicinity (like half a mile), tip blight is a pretty rare occurrence. It can and will happen from time to time, absolutely! But I really think that most of us are diagnosing the issue backwards.
Antibiotics seem to help some people because they don't just kill tip blight, they kill everything that's eating those damaged roots in poor conditions - most antifungal antibiotics also attack a broad range of yeasts and bacteria because those use the same biochemical pathways as fungi. Antibiotics can be beneficial and solve acute issues, but they're a temporary fix.
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom