San Jose Juniper - Browning at Tips

emk

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I picked this fella up at a local landscape nursery and am disappointed to see that he's getting large patches of brown tips all over. He was in full sun there and I've kept him in the same situation in my yard. I've had it for about 6 weeks and the discoloration has been happening for the last 3-4 weeks. It's in the original soil (not bonsai soil). I'm not finding spider mites and I'm not quite sure what to make of this. Should I suspect a pest, disease, or over/under-watering as the main culprit?

If it a watering problem, probably associated with the bad medium it's planted in, I'm thinking about just putting it in the ground and see if it fares better...or maybe slip-potting it with bonsai soil around the perimeter. If it's more likely a pest or disease, what should I be looking for?



 

greerhw

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Put it the ground and be sure it gets some afternoon shade for the rest of the season, I might spray it for mites anyway just to be sure, it won't hurt it.Water and mist if possible. It looks like a large plant to be in a nursey pot, it's probably root bound and by puting in the ground in some good draing soil might bring it back around. It's not the best time of the year to be messing with it, but you don't want to lose it.It appears it's not going to make it unless you try something. I would trim the dead tips off with a pair of sharp scissors at the stem and see if it quits dying back.


keep it green,
Harry
 
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Kirk

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I agree with Harry. I have one almost identicle, minus the dead foliage. Yours looks like it dried out a time or two and the new, tender foliage desiccated. Many of those large junipers in nursery liners are EXTREMELY pot-bound. Water can roll off the top or slide down the sides and never truly irrigate interior of the root ball. You could do as suggested and plant it in the ground in well draining garden soil (probably the best idea) or slip it into a larger pot with some good soil. Watch the watering if you use something like perfectly draining bonsai soil. The water could still slip around it and drain without soaking the existing root ball. Get it healthy and then have fun with it.

Best,
Kirk
 

Rick Moquin

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I picked this fella up at a local landscape nursery and am disappointed to see that he's getting large patches of brown tips all over. He was in full sun there and I've kept him in the same situation in my yard. I've had it for about 6 weeks and the discoloration has been happening for the last 3-4 weeks. It's in the original soil (not bonsai soil). I'm not finding spider mites and I'm not quite sure what to make of this. Should I suspect a pest, disease, or over/under-watering as the main culprit?

If it a watering problem, probably associated with the bad medium it's planted in, I'm thinking about just putting it in the ground and see if it fares better...or maybe slip-potting it with bonsai soil around the perimeter. If it's more likely a pest or disease, what should I be looking for?



ALARM ALARM ALARM

That's the second tree you have posted withing days with similar problems. Take 'em both back to the nursery and ask for help or better yet a refund.
 

johng

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Rick...it would embarrass me to take a tree back and ask for a refund when I was the problem....asking for help, certainly... but a refund when the problem is clearly user error...that is just taking advantage of the system and ultimately costing everyone more...surely you don't condone that???

EMK...
IMO, without a doubt this tree shows the characteristics of under-watering...it is what is, so enough on that...what to do now???

In my experience, there is at least as much root damage as foliage damage. If you pour water to it now the dead roots will likely rot and cause additional problems. If you start giving the tree the care it needs now it will take at least one year, or more, for this plant to fully recover. If you do not put this tree in the ground as suggested and is probably the best thing to do, starting immediately you need to give this plant more protection from the sun and wind. Early or late sun would be the most I would offer. You need to be very careful about watering now. You can't let it dry out again but you also don't want it to remain soggy.

Beyond that, there are really no specific guidelines to share with you here...you have to be the one that monitors the recovery by judging the changing conditions of the tree. The problem with junipers is that they are slow to react (its possible that this plant is already dead) so your job is difficult. In the end, when the tree has successfully recovered you will have learned much about it and perhaps then you will be truly ready to continue with it on its journey toward bonsai.

I know that last paragraph sounds hokey but I think there is more truth there than many of us are willing to admit...in bonsai learning to care for and understand the health of our trees is the most basic and fundamental part of the process. Without it, the rest is meaningless.

John
 

TheSteve

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unless there is some serious damage six weeks is fairly fast for either of these to be showing damage don't you think?
 

Rick Moquin

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Rick...it would embarrass me to take a tree back and ask for a refund when I was the problem....asking for help, certainly... but a refund when the problem is clearly user error...that is just taking advantage of the system and ultimately costing everyone more...surely you don't condone that???
unless there is some serious damage six weeks is fairly fast for either of these to be showing damage don't you think?
John as Steve mentioned in his post, 6 weeks is a little on the premature side for trees to display some of these characteristics, I'm thinking more along the lines of a previous problem/disease infestation etc...

I had a Swiss Mountain Pine (very soft foliage and it provided pine nuts (edible)) that started off like EMK's pine. It was kept too wet improper draining soil (landscape tree) I did not ask for a refund. When spring came I tried to salvage it as a bonsai, no luck.
 
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