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

Ligustrums planted last summer are doing poorly in Houston, TX.
March 06, 2012 - I planted large mature ligustrums trees (~ 8 ft) last summer and the leaves are turning yellow and falling off. Can you please tell me what the cause of this might be and what we can do to prevent th...
view the full question and answer

Dying Bigelow oaks in Austin
July 30, 2010 - I have several stands of Bigelow Oak (Q.sinuata var. breviloba) in NW Austin mixed with Yaupon and Cedar Elms. Several have died each year for the past 8 years. Two now have brown, dry leaves which is...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Texas Ash and non-native Bradford Pear in Hutto TX
January 27, 2011 - We have planted two trees in our back yard. The first one(a Bradford Pear) died and the second one (a Texas ash) doesn't look like it's doing very well. Our back yard is mostly black clay about 1 f...
view the full question and answer

Thorny shrub for deterring break-ins in southeast Texas
February 05, 2013 - Looking for a very, very, thorny three or four foot tall shrub for in front of windows to deter break-ins. Considering Rosa Rugosa rose but it is not native.
view the full question and answer

Problems with sophora secundiflora
April 19, 2008 - My mountain laurel is looking bad. It has lost of its leaves, especially on the lower part of the tree (it's about 7 feet tall) and many of the remaining ones don't look good - they are curled up an...
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