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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - August 01, 2010

From: St. Louis, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Disease of eastern red cedars (Juniperus virginiana)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have multiple Eastern Red Cedars spaced in my woods which are sick and dying. Some were transplanted years ago, others are volunteers, all are less than 4 ft tall. The foliage turns brown in various places throughout the plant top to bottom and this seems to spread without cause. On some branches it starts at the tips, other times not. There are no cysts, or growths and no visible fungus, mold or pests. I live in St. Louis, MO. This started in the spring and continues through the summer. They are not drought stressed. Do you know how to save my trees? Thanks.

ANSWER:

Our focus and expertise here at the Wildflower Center are with plants native to North America, but we aren't necessarily experts on their diseases and how to cure them.  We hope, however, we can point you in the right direction to find resources that can help you with your Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) problems.  There are several diseases that are listed as common to the junipers, but the three with symptoms that sound most like that of your trees are:

1) the Phomopsis and Kabatina Tip Blights of Junipers caused by the two fungi Phomopsis juniperova and Kabatina juniperi.  This article lists control measures including watering, fertilizing and pruning advice, as well as methods for chemical control.  Here is more information on Phomopsis blight and on Kabatina tip blight.

2) the fungus Pseudocercospora juniperi (syn. Cercospora sequoiae var. juniperi) that causes Cercospora Blight of Juniper.  The Juniperus scopulorum (Rocky Mountain juniper) is most susceptible.  Although Eastern Red Cedar is resistant to this disease, it does occasionally occur on it.  Here is more information on the Cercospora blight.

Of course, the best way to be sure if one of these is infecting your trees is to contact a professional arborist to look at them.  You might also contact your St. Louis County MU Extension Center to see if they have had other reports of diseased junipers.


 

 

More Trees Questions

What are the grey-green plants on oak trees in San Marcos, TX?
March 12, 2011 - The oak trees in the neighborhood in San Marcos, TX, are covered with clumps, or balls, of gray/green fluffy-looking plants. they remind me of bromeliads. You can pull and knock them off; after wind ...
view the full question and answer

Removal of invasive horsetail in Shelby Township, MI
June 19, 2009 - Please help me or direct me to who may be able to help. I have horsetail (Equisetum) invading my Blue Rug Juniper. Please tell me what I can use to get rid of the horsetail (Equisetum) without killi...
view the full question and answer

Natural Privacy Planting for New Jersey
October 09, 2013 - I have a question about privacy plantings in New Jersey (Monmouth County). We have a wooden fence around the perimeter of backyard with some various older trees. We wanted to start anew and wanted to ...
view the full question and answer

Are junipers tainting the soil in Loveland CO?
June 10, 2011 - Have several varieties of junipers around my yard. Each year I try to place a small garden in a corner of my yard, the plants don't do well at all. Growing up nearby, I gardened with my parents so ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of shrub with thorns and purple flowers
July 05, 2011 - I have a small tree or shrub, it has very small or thin thorns on the branches. It blooms in April / May. The flowers are purple. My mother-in-law said that it has been around for over 100 years, b...
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