Sickly looking Juniper

andrewbels

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I have a Juniper that appears in distress. I got it last fall and did really well with it until it got hot here in Philadelphia. This leads me to believe I underwatered it or it is getting to much sun on the roof of my apartment (no other outdoor spot to put it).

There's a bit of yellowing and brittle foliage.

Anybody have suggestions or knowledge as to whether I can rehab this tree?247404
247408247405247406
 

Hartinez

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Welcome to the site! I Hate to say it, but I’m pretty sure that thing is dead. A local Lowe’s, Home Depot or nursery will have quite a few similar juniper that you’ll have to work down yourself, but you can get several for cheap and practice your techniques and knowledge. owning multiple trees is helpful so you don’t love your one Bonsai to death.
 

andrewbels

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Welcome to the site! I Hate to say it, but I’m pretty sure that thing is dead. A local Lowe’s, Home Depot or nursery will have quite a few similar juniper that you’ll have to work down yourself, but you can get several for cheap and practice your techniques and knowledge. owning multiple trees is helpful so you don’t love your one Bonsai to death.
Thank you, I feared as much. I like your suggestion of buying a few and working them down.
 

andrewbels

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Noted, thanks.

Is it possible to speculate the cause of death based on the pictures? Or is it going to take trial and error to figure out what I'm doing wrong?
 

sorce

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Too much wind and dry maybe....

Doesn't seem too much sun will be a problem there.

You potted it last year? Spring?

Sorce
 

Shibui

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Agree that dry is likely. Junipers can stay green for weeks after the event but are slowly dying inside.
Granted that junipers love plenty of sun but my Shimpaku do not like to get too hot or dry. They do far better with a little shelter from the hottest weather here.
 

andrewbels

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Dry is definitely possible. I tried not to overwater because I heard that is a common mistake and that Junipers don't mind getting a little dry, but I have it in very well draining soil so I may have taken that advice to the extreme. The tree was given to me Sep 2018, have not repotted yet.

I may try taking it out and trimming the roots back as a last ditch effort.
 

jimib

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Was it sitting where it is in the picture? Is that a metal deck? I only ask because my composite deck gets very hot in direct sunlight. I learned a while back that sitting trees on it will dry them out incredibly quick in the summer.
 

andrewbels

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Yeah, that's where it's located. It's whatever sealer they put on roofs. Not sure if it's metal but it's certainly reflective and it does seem to get hotter around that surface so that could be it. I do have it on a wood stand that elevates it off the surface a few inches.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Suggestion, on the metal deck, lay down a piece of old carpet, astroturf, or a woven mat, like a place mat, or some sort of soft surface that won't reflect a lot of light & heat back up at the tree. Most roof top gardens I've seen have a raised deck of some sort to both protect the waterproof barrier of the roof from foot traffic or abrasion of objects set there and to lessen the heat & light reflected back up at the plants.
 

0soyoung

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My opinion is that the first problem was having it in too big a pot for the roots to have populated the substrate. Being a shallow pot, the roots then tend toward anoxia (drowining). In winter and cool spring there is very little metabolic activity (life!) to execute the processes that go with death, so everything looks to be okay. Then the temperature goes up, metabolism picks up, and the foliage quickly acquires that deathly grey cast. Then the tips die and the cascade of the foliage drying a crumbling begins. As everybody has said, it happened a long time ago.

When you try again, use a deeper pot. That will help a lot, based on my experience. I also suggest following the axiom cramming it into the smallest pot into which you can shoehorn it - but that is for later on.


To these suggestions that the roots got cooked by where you kept it - maybe so. BUY a simple MEAT THERMOMETER probe from the grocery (less than $15) and stick it in the substrate. See what the temperatures your tree's roots are really experiencing instead of 'imagining' what they might be. Keep the roots below 95F. Do whatever it takes to make it happen.
 

leatherback

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I may try taking it out and trimming the roots back as a last ditch effort.
Don't. Only trim rots if you have a healthy tree, or if the problems are due to really unhealthy roots. Juniper I feel will not really ever benefit from rootpruning.
 
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