Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Friday - May 27, 2011

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Problems with Juniperus ashei in San Antonio
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in San Antonio and have many juniper trees. On inspection I do not see insects or any other form of damage, but my trees are turning brown and dying. I have already had to cut one down. When I look around my area I notice other Juniper trees that look the same. Please tell me what is going on and how can I save my trees?

ANSWER:

We are getting all kinds of correspondence from all over, not just Central Texas, about browning or even yellowing of the foliage of various members of the Juniperus genus, including Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper).

Please read this previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer, which has all sorts of suggestions about the cause. We have even been in e-mail correspondence with a number of area forestry experts or landowners with lots of "cedars." Our opinion is that the extreme drought this year has so stressed the junipers that they have become susceptible to mites of various kinds, including the juniper mite. The consensus from all this discussion is that until it rains, the problem is going to persist. We realize that is not much help to you, but the Ashe juniper is a persistent tough native tree, we know it has had problems in the past, but we think, as a species, it will be all right. There will probably be some tree loss, as we are now passing out of May, our traditionally rainy season, but that is always a risk in gardening in what is basically an arid locale. This makes conservation all the more important, and planting trees and other plants that can tolerate low water use, as well as cutting down on thirsty non-native lawns.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Pruning oaks in August from Pflugerville TX
April 30, 2011 - Can I do minor pruning on my Lacey oak and bur oak in August if it is hot and dry? I'd like to prune one limb from each. The Lacey oak limb is about 2 inches in diameter, and the bur oak limb is ab...
view the full question and answer

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

Problems with Green Cloud cenizo in Tucson, AZ
June 15, 2009 - I have a large number of Green Cloud Texas Rangers on my property. I water all very consistently, once a week and most of these are around 5-6 ft tall and 15 years or more old. We've only had a few i...
view the full question and answer

Plants to grow in high zinc, lead and copper soil in Los Angeles
January 24, 2011 - We live on the Westside of Los Angeles and have just been given the bad news that our beds are high in zinc (86.39), lead (45.98) and copper(12.95). Can you recommend some plants that may grow in thes...
view the full question and answer

Oak bark problems from Stillwater OK
May 14, 2012 - In my clients large oak tree there is bark stripped from the limbs in small pieces. No piece is larger than 1 inch by 1 inch and occurs on limbs high in the canopy. It does not look like squirrel doin...
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.