WTF. Help me save this shimpaku juniper

Hartinez

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This juniper was bent and potted in may this year and did nothing but grow well and stay a nice healthy green. Over the last several weeks. Brown tips! All over! I treated systemically in spring. And have sprayed with daconil once and infuse once over he summer. But still this. Thoughts on a way to save this tree from impending doom??

Should I trim out all of the brown? A daconil root soak maybe? Is mancozeb and clearys my only hope?

here is its source thread. https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/nursery-shimpaku-progression.50928/
0AAF2BA5-A5B8-42F4-8FE2-D4C09653A05A.jpeg
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Hartinez

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Things I’ve done since noticing the problem. Not much other than run a chopstick through the pot in several places. I’ve also really tried to monitor my watering and not soak the tree. I’m also not seeing this problem on my other shimpaku. I have though, separated his one from those and sprayed the healthy trees with daconil to be safe.
 

badatusernames

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I’m going to let someone else chime in because my first thought was daconil root drench but then you mentioned mancozeb, which I think is good particularly for tip blight, so I’m uncertain if that’s the way you should go instead of daconil if you can only do one. I’ve not had to fight that before, maybe that’s what’s happening here.

the brown isn’t photosynthesizing and I imagine could spread it. I would likely err towards removing it if I saw it on my tree. Again, maybe wait for someone to confirm before pulling out the scissors :)
 

bwaynef

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After the fact, I don't think there's much you can do. Prior, treat prophylactically w/ fungicides. This looks like tip blight/phomopsis. The bad news: it looks like this. The good: it usually recovers fine. I had it a couple years ago and sprayed with macozeb after removing all the dead tips and I continued to see symptoms for a couple weeks, then it grew out of it. I doubt the mancozeb hurt my situation, but I'm not convinced it did much.
 

hinmo24t

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hmmm
looks a bit more than seasonal color change

youre not alone, my old faithful thuja cedar got brown growing tips recently and its baffled me
edit: we had a day of 20+ winds recently that might have done it to mine
not sure if yours has been exposed for outlying weather




good luck
 

Colorado

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Sorry to see the brown tips, Danny. Here’s my take:

Regardless of whether it is fungal or not, I would focus on first striking the proper balance of water and oxygen. I know you already know this and your other junipers are healthy. I have to wonder if the deep pot is causing issues.

I would put a 1-inch board under one side of the pot to keep it tilted. If there are not drainage holes on the perimeter of the bottom of the pot, I would drill some using a tile bit available at Home Depot for cheap: https://www.homedepot.com/p/RYOBI-S...fgIzZT_2UBeOAIj6gqAaAnNYEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
These drill through ceramic like butter. Keeping the tree tilted will ensure excellent drainage.

Sounds simple but I revived a shimpaku this year using nothing but this technique. It looked very similar to yours with the browning, and was given to me for free because the owner thought it was a goner:
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It is now lush and healthy and I do not believe it ever had a fungal infection.

Even if yours is fungal, Ryan Neil has discussed leaving the infected foliage in place rather than removing. He has stated that typically the juniper will bud back with healthy foliage behind the infected foliage. I did not remove any brown foliage on mine and indeed I got healthy interior growth once the water/oxygen balance was corrected via tilting and full sun.

I also lean heavily on organic pelletized fert on the surface of the soil (Biogold) and supplemental fish/seaweed organic liquid fert (Neptunes Harvest). For yours, I would do just a couple pellets of Biogold while it is weak and weekly fish/seaweed until we start getting hard frosts.

Finally, Ryan has also discussed that fungicides have both pros and cons. They can be helpful, but also detrimental under some circumstances and have an impact on the microbial activity in the container. I personally would not do a root drench, but that is just my 2 cents.

Good luck!
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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As it's been bent and potted in the same season, and this still looks like a sap flow or root issue to me.. How about you remove all the wires? Clip them right off and see what happens next month.

I have an air layer that's been dormant and green for 2 years, but only now that fall is approaching, it's turning dull and grey.

Then again, I have other junipers that got worse before they got better. It might just be bad roots for a while, a bit too dry maybe. And now that it's recovering, it's dropping stuff it can't use.

I have this gut feeling that the explanation is going to be plain and simple in the end. Something easily overlooked. A day in the hot sun without water is such a thing.
 

PiñonJ

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A universal distribution points to a root problem, not a foliar pathogen, or pest. May in Albuquerque is pretty late to be working junipers (or early - you can work them midsummer). I think it’s simply a case of doing heavy work too late in the season. How much foliage did you remove? I would lay off the fungicides.
 

Hartinez

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A universal distribution points to a root problem, not a foliar pathogen, or pest. May in Albuquerque is pretty late to be working junipers (or early - you can work them midsummer). I think it’s simply a case of doing heavy work too late in the season. How much foliage did you remove? I would lay off the fungicides.
It has basically been growing well and looked quite lush and healthy all summer until recently. I bent up and did work on another shimpaku juniper about the same time that is doing excellent right now. both were on the same track, though this one is on the struggle bus at the moment.
 
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Hartinez

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T/hanks guys. @PiñonJ @Colorado @Wires_Guy_wires . Y'all are probably right with the simplest answer being the solution. I hadn't considered cutting off the wire, but I will do that. Plus I am going to tilt up the pot and drill a few extra holes in that corner for better drainage. I hadn't even thought about it, but an RMJ of mine had a similar issue in spring and early summer. I cut off the dead, propped it up for a month, watched my watering and that whole trunk has shed all of the dead and began to grow new. I just wish it wasn't so close to fall with this one. I'll probably limp into winter and will protect this tree from the elements.
 

coh

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I'm not sure why removing the wire would make any difference. The wire doesn't appear to be biting in or constricting the branches yet. Plus, you already did the branch manipulation months ago, if you're seeing a delayed reaction from that the damage is presumably done and I don't see how it could be reversed at this point. In fact, the act of removing the wire might cause further damage.

If it's a root issue, another potential cause could be something like root aphids.

For the record, I've found junipers to be somewhat maddening. I have one shimp that no matter what I do, remains scraggly, loses interior growth, has a weak apex, areas turn yellow/brown prematurely. But I have others that are perfectly healthy and vigorous.
 

Hartinez

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Same type of tree, worked at about the same time, with the same type of work. 🤷🏼‍♂️
 

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Hartinez

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I'm not sure why removing the wire would make any difference. The wire doesn't appear to be biting in or constricting the branches yet. Plus, you already did the branch manipulation months ago, if you're seeing a delayed reaction from that the damage is presumably done and I don't see how it could be reversed at this point. In fact, the act of removing the wire might cause further damage.

If it's a root issue, another potential cause could be something like root aphids.

For the record, I've found junipers to be somewhat maddening. I have one shimp that no matter what I do, remains scraggly, loses interior growth, has a weak apex, areas turn yellow/brown prematurely. But I have others that are perfectly healthy and vigorous.
I’ve had my most success with junipers. For me it’s deciduous. Deciduous trees either hate me or they hate my environment. Maybe it’s both. Even my elms look shitty this time of year.
 

Hartinez

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I'm not sure why removing the wire would make any difference. The wire doesn't appear to be biting in or constricting the branches yet. Plus, you already did the branch manipulation months ago, if you're seeing a delayed reaction from that the damage is presumably done and I don't see how it could be reversed at this point. In fact, the act of removing the wire might cause further damage.

If it's a root issue, another potential cause could be something like root aphids.

For the record, I've found junipers to be somewhat maddening. I have one shimp that no matter what I do, remains scraggly, loses interior growth, has a weak apex, areas turn yellow/brown prematurely. But I have others that are perfectly healthy and vigorous.
Your thoughts on the wire makes sense also. Feeling a bit conflicted about it.
 

Hartinez

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Am I seeing correctly that it’s not the newest tips that are brown? If so, I would just leave it alone and pay close attention to the watering.
In some areas yes, in others no. The apex was hit pretty hard but the cascading branch only had it in a few spots.
 

Colorado

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Your thoughts on the wire makes sense also. Feeling a bit conflicted about it.

I would leave the wire if it were me. My rationale is that the vascular system has already been interrupted during styling. It likely began to repair the damage to the vascular system since then, in its new shape. I am inclined to think that removing the wire and allowing it to “spring back” to its previous condition may destroy any healing that has taken place and weaken it even further headed into winter.

Lots of difficult considerations here.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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Hmmm you guys could be right about the wire. It might not change a thing.
This €3 juniper was lush and happy, it had one(!) Bone dry day in April this year. The roots got baked. Brown kept progressing until last month, now it's bouncing back.
It'll be grafted anyways so I don't need all the foliage, but it just shows how long it can take before the damage is expressed and how long it takes to go back to growing again.
My zombie pfizer thread has similar progressions.
IMG_20210916_072207.jpg
 

sorce

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I think everytime you feel like working a tree, you should make 35 stands, then when you are finished, go back and ponder things some, then go make another 35 stands before actually working it.

The 3 thread run around for us tracing this things life is analogous to the run around you are getting trying to figure out the problem.

In the first thread you said they've had these sitting around for a while. Begs the question, why?
Oddly shallow root mass for the pot, why?

"As bought" photo shows no runners, no vigour.
At that point I would inspect the soil and potting situation to determine wether you will find vigour leaving it, or repotting it.

Once it regains vigour, move to the next step, be it repotting or structural wiring.

Once that shows vigorous runners, move to the next step, structural wiring or detail wiring.

Once that shows vigour....

"Seems Like" has been a viscous tell for me lately, I read a "seems like it recovered well", a "seemingly healthy"....
For me, "seems like" is only a giant red flag of uncertainty that should be pondered until what is actual is understood.

You have to break yourself free of this cycle.

There is a phenomena, where when one shows competence in styling, material selection, stand building or anything else, good folks here completely lose sight of the fact that this person is just sucking ass at horticulture.

This is why we are now talking about spraying a fungus free tree with fungicide that wasn't going to make it through this work, ever, and if not clouded by this phenomena, 3 threads, and lack of other pertinent information, we would be talking about what we all know to be true, but omit it, "junipers die slow deaths".

Besides the things that may have plagued this before you bought it, and the extensive work, I would like to better understand your watering habits.

I would seriously urge you to run this weight test, weigh it "dry", record.
Weigh it after regular watering, record.
Weigh it after a 3 hour soakdunk.

I believe you will find that you have been seriously underwatering.

We watch other folks do this extensive work all the time, but what can never really be understood when we see it is....
Previous health. Yes we can see a "before" picture, but there is never any information about how long it took to get to that before picture. Could have been one season, could have been 4 years.
This kinda relates the same to the after. We see the picture, hear a "left to recover for x", but never actually see how long it takes to recover.

Worst, we see junipers getting skinned to, what I consider a foolish minimum, but without understanding these other values, we can't understand if it's safe for our trees.

This is best understood for me, with simple values again.

Horticulture Care Value/Extense of Work.

It's the Hort Care Value we never see.

So for instance, your tree...ahem...seems, at a much less Extense of Work value, skinned being 0 untouched being 100.

You're at like a ?/60.
Which seems fine because we see work at ?/2.
(I'm thinking of professional work)

"Seems fine". It's the not knowing the Hort Care Value that leads us to consider some outside problem, fungus, blah....

In this we can see it's not an external problem, it is a problem with the Hort Care Value.
If recovery can be had at ?/2.

Clearly you must raise your Hort Care Value.

I think learning the patterns/rythym of your tree, and your care, is important to not go on this downward spiral.

In comparison to your purchase of an unhealthy tree, potted and wired inside of 2 years.

I repotted my shimp in 2017, and have only removed bits each following season, after it has told me it was healthy to do so.
5 years later it hasn't seen a lick of wire.
In this time I estimate I may have lost about 2% of it's style potential. That's not enough for me to need to go any faster.

It's also a community problem, that in one thread we completely know and understand how foolish "demos" are, but then we get into individual threads and get so excited by the styling we think it's a good idea to do it to our own trees.

There is absolutely no reason to go so fast except to show something off, I learned this long ago. Now threads like my shimp thread end up with 10 YouTube music videos and one trim.
Where others' threads have 10 trims and no YouTube music videos. Up your music video count!

No more "seems like" I'm being patient.

Be patient.

If we follow this work ethic of simply keeping potential problems at bay, we realize a continued health, move towards good design, and the patience just happens.

I measure my work by this value of, how much design potential am I losing by doing nothing?

If that number is low, doing nothing is fine. I do just enough work to keep that value low.

This is a much safer approach than these Hail Marys.

Sorce
 

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