Troubled Tree

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Troubled Tree

Post  Gaylene on Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:29 am

Help!
I was given a star juniper in the cascade style several months ago. The tree has been doing well until the past week when the temperature began to change. The tree has developed brown patches and the change has been farily dramatic in a short period of time. I am not sure if this is normal for this type of tree during the fall/winter transition, if it could be attribuable to a temperature drop, or an increase in moisture. The temperature drop has been less thatn 20 degrees, but has not reached a freezing level. I live in Northern California (Mt. Shasta) and our weather has been a bit erratic of late. If anyone has any ideas, suggestions, or guidance they can offer I would greatly appreciate it.

[url=https://servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=7&u=15861894][


Last edited by Gaylene on Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:53 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Add photograph.)

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Troubled Tree

Post  Guest on Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:15 am

Hello Gaylene. Junipers sometimes change colour slightly during the Winter. The best way to determine whether there is a problem, is for you to upload a photo.

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Re: Troubled Tree

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:52 am

If this Juniper came from a mass retailer, has rocks on the surface and you are keeping in indoors, it is dead.

If any two of the above are true it is probably dead.

Otherwise, check for over watering and spider mites. To check for mites, place a white paper under the tree and shake the branches, if moving dots appear on the paper you have mites. (You might need a magnifier to see them)

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Troubled Tree

Post  Guest on Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:41 pm

Hello again Gaylene. When internal foliage browns off like that it could be one of several things. Red Spider Mite will attack all foliage on a tree. The stronger the tree, the better it will cope. If there are any weak areas, RSM will kill those areas. If a tree is not fed enough, the internal parts of the tree will weaken and die.

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Re: Troubled Tree

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:21 pm

If the test for spider mites is negative, I would look at the soil and think it might have been overwatered. But, it looks like mites to me.

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Re: Troubled Tree

Post  Ravi Kiran on Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:17 pm

Hi,

Besides what Will and Billy have said, in my experience (which is in the tropics and not in your climatic environs) is that Junipers normally develop brown patches which adequate sunlight is not reaching the foliage. I understand your challenge of the dropping temperature which could be the main culprit. You have not mentioned if there is good sunlight as part of the changing weather. If there isnt then you need to ensure that your tree gets good sunlight. I however am ignorant of the winter care of junipers in your climactic conditions.

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Ravi

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Re: Troubled Tree

Post  JimLewis on Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:12 pm

If it turns out to NOT be spider mites (and I've never had them so I can't say one way or another), please give us some idea of your watering regime, how long its been since the tree was last repotted, and any other historical/cultural information you may have on it.

Occasionally, cascades need to be turned so the tails are at least horizontal as the tree may have difficulty with photosynthesis and nutrient transport on a long tail.

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Re: Troubled Tree

Post  SamC on Fri Nov 12, 2010 7:37 pm

Gaylene,

Is this one of the trees which came from Yreka? If so, I wonder if it struggling with some environmental change? Was it originally in a sunny spot, and now its in more shade? A change in watering routines would be another concern.

I realize you said it hasn't been freezing there yet, but I offer the follow advice for winter:

I had a very nice juniper cascade in training. For several years I always put it on the ground in the winter and it did fine. One winter it was left on a low bench and when the spring came, it pushed a tiny bit of foliage, then completely died. I spoke with several of our local nursery people and they commented that junipers tend to have roots that are only 'good' down to 15-20 F. This surprised me as we do get down to nearly -10F on occasion, and they grow in the the wild here, but then again, that is with roots in the ground. I've also read that juniper roots can tolerate freezing, but rapid warming causes damage and stress. With our typical erratic springtimes where there are several warm days and then a week or two of constant sub-freezing temps (repeat 2-5 times for good measure), I will definitely take more care in the future. I am actually considering digging holes and heeling in the pots for good measure.


Last edited by SamC on Fri Nov 12, 2010 7:44 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Wanted to comment that I did in fact read that freezing was not yet an issue.)

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Re: Troubled Tree

Post  Neil Jaeger on Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:09 pm

SamC wrote:Gaylene,

Is this one of the trees which came from Yreka? If so, I wonder if it struggling with some environmental change? Was it originally in a sunny spot, and now its in more shade? A change in watering routines would be another concern.

I realize you said it hasn't been freezing there yet, but I offer the follow advice for winter:

I had a very nice juniper cascade in training. For several years I always put it on the ground in the winter and it did fine. One winter it was left on a low bench and when the spring came, it pushed a tiny bit of foliage, then completely died. I spoke with several of our local nursery people and they commented that junipers tend to have roots that are only 'good' down to 15-20 F. This surprised me as we do get down to nearly -10F on occasion, and they grow in the the wild here, but then again, that is with roots in the ground. I've also read that juniper roots can tolerate freezing, but rapid warming causes damage and stress. With our typical erratic springtimes where there are several warm days and then a week or two of constant sub-freezing temps (repeat 2-5 times for good measure), I will definitely take more care in the future. I am actually considering digging holes and heeling in the pots for good measure.

This is my first winter with 4 new junipers and 3 are common junipers and are in plastic pots. So im gonna rap the pots in burlap to keep the soil in and put them in the ground. The other is a san jose juniper in a "real" pot. The man who sold it to me (Fred from Hollow Creek Bonsai NY) told me to put in a wood box and fill with peat moss covering pot and trunk but not foliage. Maybe a box and some peat moss will protect it.

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Troubled Tree

Post  Gaylene on Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:21 pm

Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me. I am going to spray the tree for mites and will continue to monitor. We had a course of extremely wet weather simultaneously with the temperature change. Based upon all of the great feedback I received, I think perhaps the problem might be a combination of factors.
Gaylene

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