I had three big pine trees cut down and the stumps chipped and
Several small blue rug junipers were planted in that area [with some
mulch on top of the pine chip/dirt mix] and all of them have died or
showed browning. I have several other junipers a small distance away
and they are ok.
Could the fresh pine mulch be doing this? Can I fix this?
Where? If your in the US, contact your county extension agent or your
land grant college for more detailed information but to give you some
ideas; are there other large pines/evergreens around,... few or many?
Is the dieback from the bottom up or tip down?
If you ground the stumps recently, say this season, could be your
roots are still sucking the water from the area ( least likely) and/or
your chip mulch is too "green"( not composted well enough) and are
eating up the N. C/N ratio for chips can be as high as 400:1. Ideal
is 25-30:1, so even mixed with other well compost material, your chip
mix can still be very high. so let it go fallow this year and through
the winter, Maybe incorporate some N over it but watch for quick
growing weeds popping up. Check it next year with a 15$ soil test.
Junipers are tricky to predict/ heal and often cheap enough not to put
much effort into. Very slow to show signs, but watch for color
changes at the tips to see if it is still growing. if so, move them
out of the area and into good soil, Check the roots for rot and
remove any found before planting. Potting them in a well draining
soil is ok, but have a large enough container for the roots to grow.
Not too much midday light/heat, resist the temptation to keep throwing
"home brewed tonics" and "cures". They will be knocked back a bit,
maybe a year to 2. Do not fertilize this year but next spring give
them a good sprinkle of a balanced fertilizer in a proper ratio for
The other possibility is the plants were bad stock to begin with. Saw
a fair share of landscape plants this last year that were diseased and
it wasn't confined to one nursery or one area, those were from WA, OR
and CA. The PNW climate was a haven for blights and mildews this
Tennessee. There are no other large trees nearby, and the dieback
fairly uniform, ie: brown all over.
Thanks for the advice, I think the vendor will replace them, and I
just stick them elsewhere and let the mulch break down a bit. You can
still smell the 'pine scent' in that area fairly strongly. They were
[30 yards high] old pines but starting to lean directly towards some
dwellings and had to go.
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