En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora) refuses to bloom
March 07, 2008 - We have a Texas Mountain Laurel that gets full sunlight, but does not bloom. It is 4-5 ft tall & 3-4 ft wide & healthy. Is there anything we can do to make it bloom next year?
view the full question and answer

Noise reduction hedge row in Houston
October 01, 2009 - We live just one house back from the freeway and would like to plant a fast growing noise reduction 'hedge row' - close growing to 20-40 ft. We are looking at Leyland Cypress but know they aren't n...
view the full question and answer

Distressed Red Oak tree in Pflugerville, TX.
July 22, 2012 - I have a large (40 ft) Red Oak tree in my yard that is distressed. It started with yellowing leaves, with darker veins. Then small brown spots appeared, followed by browning arount the leaves edges. N...
view the full question and answer

What to do with a sickly American elm in Austin, Texas
September 27, 2010 - I have an American elm that is about 6 feet tall in my yard. It is has not grown quickly this year--as compared to another American Elm that I have in another spot that is about 3 feet tall and has m...
view the full question and answer

Effect of pecan trees on pool deck from Clovis CA
February 14, 2013 - I have pecan trees next to our pool deck. Are pecan trees invasive, will they lift up our pool deck?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center