En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Effects of drought and insects on junipers

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Monday - August 06, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Effects of drought and insects on junipers
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

We live on acreage about 18 miles southwest of Austin. Ever since we moved here about 6 years ago, we've noticed that our mature Ashe junipers seem to be in some sort of decline with foliage gradually turning brown and dropping, or in many cases dropping green branch tips at an abnormal rate. No one seems to know what is wrong. Some of our big trees have died, and others appear to be dying. Do you have any idea what could be causing this, and is there anything we can do?

ANSWER:

The state's climatologist has declared that the prolonged drought of the past several years has been broken since we have received record rainfall this spring and summer. Your trees could be suffering from the extended drought. The lack of water in itself is bad for the tree, of course; but, secondary effects from too little water are also deleterious in that the trees are more susceptible to diseases and pests. If it was the drought, you can hope that the recent rains and continued normal amounts of rainfall will remedy the problem.

Mature Ashe junipers do not like changes in their root zones and are unable to quickly respond to those changes. They are particularly susceptible to increased moisture around their roots. If you have made changes to the way water runs off your land or if you irrigate, you may have inadvertently hurt your trees.

Juniper budworm has been a problem on Ashe juniper in your area in recent years. This is a possibility.

Another possibility is that spider mites might be attacking your trees. If that is the case, the rains might have alleviated your problem as well.

You might want to have a chat with someone with the Texas Forest Service about your problem. They, too, have an Ask the Experts feature on their web page.

 

 

More Trees Questions

Plant barrier along fence in South Central Texas
March 10, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I want to put in an attractive, diverse but tough plant barrier to help stop my dogs from running the fence with neighboring dogs. The 5-foot, open-wire fence is far from the...
view the full question and answer

Variegated leaves on Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican buckeye)
April 11, 2007 - I grew some mexican buckeyes from seed last year and one of them has variegated leaves. I haven't seen this before- have I just not looked at enough mexican buckeyes up close or is this an uncommon f...
view the full question and answer

Why doesn't my Possum Haw have berries this year?
May 20, 2010 - A possumhaw holly has no berries as of mid-May. I planted this possumhaw last summer - it had lots of berries. Why would it have no berries this year? This spring I have two yaupons with lots of b...
view the full question and answer

What will grow under neighbor's overhanging tree in Grosse Pointe Woods MI
May 29, 2011 - My next door neighbor has a beautiful tree that is easily 60 years old and thus not going anywhere. Unfortunately, for me the roots of this tree have extended under a large corner of my back yard. Add...
view the full question and answer

Safety of hyrbrid and non-native trees for dogs and horses from Lawton OK
March 25, 2013 - Are Arrowwood Viburnum tree, Sargent Crabapple tree & the Washington Hawthorn tree safe for dogs & horses?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center