We have about nine blue star junipers planted on a southern
slope in our front yard. These were planted late June. The
majority of them are doing great. There are a few of them that
have several branches whose needles are all brown. In all cases these
branches are nearest the ground (mulch). We have been watering
these on an average of 2 times per week depending on the
weather conditions here in upstate NY. Why are the lower branches
turning brown (dried out)? Also, there is one branch that has been
damaged (almost broken in half) but all the needles are still green.
Is there anyway to repair/nurse this branch or should we prune it?
Does pruning apply for the dried out branches as well or will they
grow new foilage?
Twice a week is quite a lot of water for something as durable and as
unthirsty as a juniper. Because of the slope and because I don't know
your soil conditions and the manner in which you water, I would hesitate
to say for certain this is an overwatering issue, but it sure sounds like
it. The mulch may be holding in too much moisture and encouraging some
fungal problems. Prune out the damaged branches - they will not refoliate
- and cut back on your watering and the plants should recover.
pam - gardengal
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