The Q&A Archives: Only one dead juniper suddenly.

Question: We have an established lawn (about 25 years), with about 20 mature juniper shrubs in just the front yard. Suddenly last summer one juniper turned totally brown/grey and was dead. There are still healthy junipers that are growing right next to where that dead juniper was. Any clue as to what happened?

Answer: It sounds like root rot, but you won't be able to tell without digging the plant and inspecting the root system. Check for mushy or foul-smelling roots, or those that are rusty or brown in color (instead of creamy white inside). If the root system appears okay, then cut through the trunk of the juniper to look for discolored tissue. If the tissue is the same color throughout, you've ruled out diseases. Aside from the above, not much will kill a juniper in the way you describe.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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