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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.

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

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Monday - May 11, 2009

From: San antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Why are my Junipers turning brown in San Antonio?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

My Texas mountain cedars (junipers, I know) are turning brown, limb by limb. What is the problem and how do I save what looks like a dying tree.

ANSWER:

I am afraid I don't know what is ailing your junipers. From the symptoms that you described, it could be:

too much water
too little water
juniper scale (an insect disease)
spider mites
juniper twig blight ( fungal disease)

The key to the answer is careful observation of the sick trees. I've included some websites that will help you interpret what you find.

Kansas State Research and Extension has a down-loadable publication titled "Juniper Diseases" that covers fungal diseases of Juniper.

Clemson Extension has an article titled "Juniper Diseases and Insect pests".

New Mexico State University Extension  has a nice discussion of spidermites.

A source of help closer to home of course is the Bexar County office of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service which can put you in touch with the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.

We would be interested in learning what kinf of help you get.

 

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