Struggling Junipers

Apex37

Mame
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Hi all,

I have been really struggling with Junipers and I feel like my problem is lack of sunlight, but maybe I'm wrong. Either way, I could really use some tips. My house is kinda in a bad spot for full sun trees and I'm finding this out as our neighbor's tree has grown excessively the past year to where it shades a good portion of my already small backyard (corner lot problems). I would ask them to trim it, but we're renting and moving here in the next few months anyway and I imagine it will be a VERY expensive job to trim because how overgrown it is (tree is at least 40+ years old and looks to have never been trimmed...along with the other 4 in their backyard). My best spot I can find for them that gets consistent sun (6+ hours) is in a spot that gets sun 2-sundown. Now obviously this is less than ideal, but I have no east facing areas unfortunately and the only one I do have only gets about 4-5 hours direct sun. So am I just doomed with these two? I honestly wish I had never picked up the styled one as I never knew this would become an issue until spring growth came in fully. Part of the learning process and I'm just trying to do all I can just to keep them alive now. The styled one lost a pad already and another is looking very sparse. The other juniper was a $7 Lowes find and he's looking even worse.

I would love any tips or advice. I feel awful about the state of these trees and only wish I knew this beforehand.
 

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HENDO

Shohin
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They look already dead 😢 except maybe the one in the cascade you can save... maybe.

A lot of mine have done just fine with only 4-5hrs direct. While not ideal, just had to make sure the soil was starting to dry out before watering. I would think that with 4+ hours your main concern would be watering.

The soil appears to be nice well draining stuff.
 

Apex37

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They look already dead 😢 except maybe the one in the cascade you can save... maybe.

A lot of mine have done just fine with only 4-5hrs direct. While not ideal, just had to make sure the soil was starting to dry out before watering. I would think that with 4+ hours your main concern would be watering.

The soil appears to be nice well draining stuff.
Maybe watering has been my issue, but I tend to try and let it dry out before watering. About every 2-3 days depending on how hot it is. I'm really going to try with the styled one. Would you recommend putting it in a spot that gets sun 10-3 or the place I just moved it which gets sun 2-sundown? I really don't want to lose this tree. Will there be any new growth from the place it died off if it does recover or will I have to remove the whole branch?
 

bwaynef

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Folks may be tired of hearing me tell about it, but last October I had 15 mature oaks removed from a PORTION of my half-acre lot (think about that for a minute) to create as close to full sun as I can get. (Its bright/open shade until about 9:30-10a, then sun until 7p or so.) Within 2 weeks I noticed a difference in the growth of my junipers. This spring has been a learning experience ...as if I was starting over. Everything is growing so much better than it has in the past. I'm rethinking my hold-off-and-let-the-tree-strengthen plans on several trees because they're growing so surprisingly well. (A part of that is the application of dormant sprays as well.)

Whatever you can realistically do to get your junipers as close to full sun as you can, do it. They'll pay you back.

That first one has healthy tips, which is imperative. I'm not certain whats causing your dieback on the interior though. It could be pest, but it could also be shade-related.

The second one doesn't look as good. I suspect its tips have been pinched. It may have phomopsis/tip blight as well.

Full sun would help both trees.
 

HENDO

Shohin
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Maybe watering has been my issue, but I tend to try and let it dry out before watering. About every 2-3 days depending on how hot it is. I'm really going to try with the styled one. Would you recommend putting it in a spot that gets sun 10-3 or the place I just moved it which gets sun 2-sundown? I really don't want to lose this tree. Will there be any new growth from the place it died off if it does recover or will I have to remove the whole branch?
This past year I've learnt to let junipers REALLY dry out before watering, i.e. no damp akadama 1/2" below soil level - they can take it. Sounds like you're doing a good job monitoring though.

I like the sounds of 10-3 here in TX, watering in the morning if necessary, because 2-sundown can be brutal especially in the summer! I have two very similar sun exposure areas. It would also depend on your schedule, if you can get home early enough to give them a good cool-down mist if it's sweltering hot.

I'm no expert on "reviving" junipers but I'm the pas I've just removed the dead/brown foliage and left the primary/secondary branches, wait for new buds.
 

HENDO

Shohin
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Folks may be tired of hearing me tell about it, but last October I had 15 mature oaks removed from a PORTION of my half-acre lot (think about that for a minute) to create as close to full sun as I can get. (Its bright/open shade until about 9:30-10a, then sun until 7p or so.) Within 2 weeks I noticed a difference in the growth of my junipers. This spring has been a learning experience ...as if I was starting over. Everything is growing so much better than it has in the past. I'm rethinking my hold-off-and-let-the-tree-strengthen plans on several trees because they're growing so surprisingly well. (A part of that is the application of dormant sprays as well.)

Whatever you can realistically do to get your junipers as close to full sun as you can, do it. They'll pay you back.

That first one has healthy tips, which is imperative. I'm not certain whats causing your dieback on the interior though. It could be pest, but it could also be shade-related.

The second one doesn't look as good. I suspect its tips have been pinched. It may have phomopsis/tip blight as well.

Full sun would help both trees.
I like these comments. My main bench area (East facing) gets full sun from ~8-9AM until ~2-3PM then dappled light from oak tree shade.

My other area (West facing) gets full sun ~10-11AM until ~6-7PM. My prostrata has gotten fried here in the summer, procumbens don't seem to mind as much and get nice dark green foliage.

This year I've stopped giving my junipers the recommended 2-4 weeks partial shade after repot and they don't skip a beat, they love it!
 

Shibui

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This past year I've learnt to let junipers REALLY dry out before watering, i.e. no damp akadama 1/2" below soil level - they can take it.
Down here I find that junipers like water. Mine always suffer if they get too dry. They like well drained soil but do far better when I don't let them get dry out too much. Note that I don't use akadama in the soil mix here.
They also seem to love more humidity so watering the foliage is good and protection from hottest afternoon sun.
Also agree with trees going straight back to normal position right after repot.
 

Apex37

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Thank you everyone that added some recommendations, I really do appreciate it! I plan to try and keep them in the 2-sundown spot for now since they weren't doing too great in the 10-3 spot. I'll keep on top of watering, I'm finding this easily to be the hardest thing to learn per plant and unfortunately junipers take awhile to show signs of decline. I'll keep this updated as I go along.
 

Paradox

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Have you checked them for spider mites?

White piece of paper under the branch, shake the branch and see if you have any really tiny critters crawling around on the paper.
 

Apex37

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Have you checked them for spider mites?

White piece of paper under the branch, shake the branch and see if you have any really tiny critters crawling around on the paper.
Well I think you might have just solved the mystery. Definitely quite a few very small yellowish bugs that came off. Not sure if they're spider mites, aphids, or what. This is all new to me, and I honestly need to pick up some horticultural books so I can get better educated on these things, but that's a whole other thing. Could use recommendations there too.

In the mean time, what do I do to treat them? I have Neem Oil, not sure if that is suited for junipers or what the best course of action is.
 

HENDO

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Well I think you might have just solved the mystery. Definitely quite a few very small yellowish bugs that came off. Not sure if they're spider mites, aphids, or what. This is all new to me, and I honestly need to pick up some horticultural books so I can get better educated on these things, but that's a whole other thing. Could use recommendations there too.

In the mean time, what do I do to treat them? I have Neem Oil, not sure if that is suited for junipers or what the best course of action is.
These little buggers are a pain in the butt in TX - here in Houston a lot of people are using Bayer 3-in-1 Insect Disease & Mite control. It works very well especially if you can get a good pressure behind the spray to knock them off. In hot/dry climates they'll always be around, you just have to keep them in check regularly. I keep my junipers away from any palm trees or other good spider mite hotels too, well off the ground of course.
 

Apex37

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These little buggers are a pain in the butt in TX - here in Houston a lot of people are using Bayer 3-in-1 Insect Disease & Mite control. It works very well especially if you can get a good pressure behind the spray to knock them off. In hot/dry climates they'll always be around, you just have to keep them in check regularly. I keep my junipers away from any palm trees or other good spider mite hotels too, well off the ground of course.
This is so good to know! Thank you sincerely. I was in the process of building a bench, seems another reason to finish that up this weekend. I know the Bayer you're talking about. I'll try and go pick it up tonight. Hopefully this helps, either way it's definitely been a learning experience.
 

bwaynef

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Spider mites you can't really see. You can JUST see enough to think you see something, but you can't really. After the initial jolt to the sheet of paper, they're stunned, but shortly afterward they start moving around. You can see their movement better than you can see them.

If what you saw was bigger than that, they might not be mites.

Bayer markets an imidacloprid product that's essentially viagra for spider mites according to some here. (There's an article about imidacloprid & the proliferation of mites in elm trees.) Make sure you know what you're getting into.
 

Apex37

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Spider mites you can't really see. You can JUST see enough to think you see something, but you can't really. After the initial jolt to the sheet of paper, they're stunned, but shortly afterward they start moving around. You can see their movement better than you can see them.

If what you saw was bigger than that, they might not be mites.

Bayer markets an imidacloprid product that's essentially viagra for spider mites according to some here. (There's an article about imidacloprid & the proliferation of mites in elm trees.) Make sure you know what you're getting into.
Could they be thrips?
It is honestly hard for me to tell. They look larger than what you're describing for spider mites and have a yellowish tint to them. I sprayed the trees down with Neem Oil for the time being. Is there a way to know for sure what it is or what the best course of action?
 

Paradox

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It is honestly hard for me to tell. They look larger than what you're describing for spider mites and have a yellowish tint to them. I sprayed the trees down with Neem Oil for the time being. Is there a way to know for sure what it is or what the best course of action?

Be careful of leaving the trees out in the sun and heat down there in Texas when you spray with neem oil.
Put them under some shade for a day or so when you use the neem oil or you may find your trees become french fried junipers
 

Apex37

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Be careful of leaving the trees out in the sun and heat down there in Texas when you spray with neem oil.
Put them under some shade for a day or so when you use the neem oil or you may find your trees become french fried junipers
Will do! I remember reading about that with most plants so I always try to avoid spraying them and leaving in direct sun. It is raining off and on for the next 3 days, so should be good.
 

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