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juniper woes

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juniper woes

Postby bridgit On 5b » May 05, 2008 12:39 pm

I have 3 starlight junipers that I planted last summer. I am a cheap gardener at heart so I bought them quite small even though I know they grow quite slow. I covered them up over the winter just because I was worried that the heavy snow would break such small plants. When I uncovered them they were brown. Not just one but all three. Was covering them a bad idea? I want to replace them but don't want to lose them again. Any tips for these bushes? Thanks
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Postby Eeyore » May 05, 2008 1:11 pm

Are you sure they are dead? A good watering may get them, started this spring.

I personally do not promote wrapping trees for winter. As Daisy mentions the wrong covering can result in severe damage. The same can happen with even a burlap wrapping. Damage can be caused by fluctuations in temperature throughout the winter. Especially if the trees are in a sunny warm area or against a house.

This link gives some ideas for pretecting your trees with out wrapping them. ... G1411.html
AB, Zone 3A
“Those who say it can't be done are usually interrupted by others doing it.” ` James Arthur Baldwin"
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Postby bridgit On 5b » May 05, 2008 4:37 pm

All three are very brown and when I touch them the needles fall off so I am pretty sure they are gonners. I covered them with the plastic pots you get new plants in, so they had air holes. They didn't get covered until the end of Nov and I uncovered them about 3 weeks ago so I don't think they really suffered any severe temp fluctuations. Do you think it could have been a cat peeing on them back in the summer that caused this? I asked at my local nursery and they said that cats love jumipers and thats usually the main reason reason when one dies, next to over watering. We do have a stray cat that scratched up the trunk of my hinoki (sp?) spruce so perhaps she had visited the junipers on a regular basis before I had covered them. Any thoughts.
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Postby bridgit On 5b » May 06, 2008 4:10 pm

There were large air holes in the pots and they were uncovered the week after the heat spell. They were already completely brown. I think if it was the heat they wouldn't have been that brown already. I wish I could find out what did it since I would like to replace them and don't want it to happen again. Such a mystery!
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Postby Jeannie » May 06, 2008 8:39 pm

Blame the weather ....and your not watering the plants sufficiently to take them through winter.

Evergreens go dormant but heir roots are very much alive.
In autumn, evergreens should be continued to be watered as long as the soil will accept it without freezing.

Covering a plant that can be affected by freezes....and always a tough call. There is nothing drier than a northern winter.
Wind is the main enemy, it can dry out a plant in no time at all.

Better to put a barrier to wind and water the plant right up to freeze-up.

If you are definitely going to replace the plants, I suggest instead of throwing the old ones out....find a place...a sheltered place, and re-plant them and mix in some compost with the soil....about 30% volume...and add some tranplant fertilizer...10/52/10.....or triple superphosphate...0/46/0.....water them as though they just came from the nursery.
Water them well.

I'm betting they are not Marley, dead as a doornail....but there's life in them old legs.
Who knows, they might just surprise you.
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Postby bridgit On 5b » May 07, 2008 7:48 pm

They are so brown that lack of watering sounds more like that could be the culprit. I am trying to remember if we had a dry fall or not. So, I took a good look at the plants and there still is a bit of blue on the needles near the very center of the plants. I am willing to try and save them since I am always up for a challenge and like I posted :oops: :lol: My concern is what will the plants look like when recovered since the majority of the needles are brown and how long will it take to revive them? Can I just leave them in the ground and try to bring them back there. What steps should I take if I do leave them in the ground to hopefully succeed. Thanks. your replies have been great.
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