En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Care for indoor Lemon Cypress
November 30, 2008 - How do I care for an indoor Lemon Cypress tree?
view the full question and answer

Native plants for clay soil in Lathrop MO
March 21, 2011 - My family just moved to the north Kansas City, MO area and would like to know what native species, both perennial and tree, will do best in the clay soil. It has already proven problematic as we have ...
view the full question and answer

Swarming insects on non-native willow in Washington PA
September 25, 2011 - I have had a very large, beautiful pillow willow bush/tree growing next to our garage for about 8 years. Last year at the end of August, it began to attract white-faced hornets and yellow jackets by t...
view the full question and answer

Damage to cedar elm from Austin
August 16, 2013 - We have a cedar elm next to the corner of our house that has been dropping lots and lots of twigs with green leaves over the past 3 weeks, while our other elms have not. These rapidly pile up on the p...
view the full question and answer

Lantana trees in Wyoming MI
August 16, 2010 - We love lantana with its multicolored flowers. This weekend we visited Michigan State University and saw "lantana trees".They were amazing!! Have these trees been grown from the annual plant we have...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center