The Q&A Archives: Blue Rug Junipers Dying

Question: I have a large area on a sloping piece of ground which has bee filled in beautifully with ten year old blue rug junipers. This year they started dying back; turning brown and just not thriving. I sprayed once with neem but need to know if I must continue the spraying or not. Also, can I prune out the dying and dead branches or leave them on? I am worried about other problems or infections entering through the cuts caused by pruning.

Answer: In an established planting there is always reason for concern when die back of any kind occurs. Junipers are occasionally subject to a number of problems ranging from root rot to disease to insect infestation. Unfortunately, based on your description it is impossible to make a diagnosis. You might want to contact your County Extension for a more specific identification of the problem and recommended controls.

You can always prune out truly dead branches, but in this case the pattern may be a clue for daignosing the problem so you might wait until you have done with some certainty before you cut.

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