JUNIPERS _in trouble_ a friendly and growing community of gardeners. We feature a Garden Discussion Forum and Garden Photo Gallery. It's a fun and friendly place to talk with other gardeners, ask questions, share you knowledge, view and post photos and more! Whether you're a master gardener, or brand new to the hobby, you'll find something of interest here.


New Member
Hello to all in the forum...

Just found your website…and since I am looking for somebody with gardening experience…
I would like to share pictures of my “not so healthy Junipers” with you..

There are fully grown Junipers, about 15 feet which came “with the house”…within the last 2 seasons they are turning more brown, loosing their nice green growth.

Attaching pictures here….(links>>COPY and PASTE)

I am not a gardener, just would like to save these trees..I did apply a evergreen fertilizer ( ground sticks 12-10-10) this spring…but not sure what else to do with them.???

Is it possible that damage can be done by dog’s urine, as these trees create a nice side walk border….???

Any help appreciated, thank you.

James J., Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Hi & Welcome from the PNW.

Although it didn't get colder this winter it stayed colder for much longer then normal. I've noticed a lot of junipers did not fare well and many around town are being removed.

My neighbor junipers looked a lot like yours. I think it was because of to much shade and or improper watering practice on his part but really am not sure. I took care of his yard for a few years. I cut out all the dead stuff from the center and back of the plant then tied all nice green stuff back together to give it a nice appearance. The tree was cut back so they got more sun and I watered them. They did well for several years until he moved and they were taken out. Good luck. I hope someone else can come along and give you better information.
Hey James!
From what I know about junipers and yours are probably Skyrocket J's there are usually few problems if they are planted in the right area.
Being close to the driveway, or sidewalk, they are exposed to salt spray, which is not a good thing as your photos show, as well as snow piled up around the base doesn't help.
The previous owner did not think in the far future when they planted them, and now you have to deal with the consequences of their lack of foresight.
They do not like competition from other trees, or shrubs and tend to look sad after a few decades!
Things you can do: trim/prune out all the dead wood, or simply remove them altogether! You might like to replace them with soming that has a shorter growth habit, or just leave the area without anything. Grassing the area would look good and give the area a finished look.
Removing them will give the trees behind them a chance to grow and fill in the bare area.
Hi and welcome aboard! :p
There are several different types of Juniper trees. It looks to me like about 3 things taking place here: 1.) the trees are fairly old and shedding to make sure to tell ya that they need some help 2.) even though they might be old,they are still trying to hang on 3.) dog urine and snow over the winter does take it's toll. I had a couple of Star Juniper schrubs ( one died because of dogs making use of it,so I'm down to just the 1 ) You might want to remove all the dead and make sure that they get themselves plenty of water or just remove the entire plant and call it a day.
I am a bonsai nut and have tried several Junipers that one can find to grow as a bonsai and I haven't really had to much luck with them as they start doing almost the samething as what you pics look like!
I don't really know much about your climate where you are,but I think that also has something to do with how those trees grow! :rolleyes:
You got some good tips/ideas here that was posted by some others about your problem. ( RonsGarden & Bernie's were good ) Like I said,I'm a bonsai nut but,I'm sure some of the bonsai technics over how to care for those trees sometimes come in handy. ( the scale is alittle different some ):p
Anyway,I wanted to say Hi and give ya a welcome and even toss in my quarter dollars worth about your problem as well! ( hope it was something that you could use )
Wish ya the best of luck in what you decide to do and I look forward to seeing ya around the board too!
Welcome once again!!
- Phil -
Hi James and welcome to GF. Sorry to hear of your problems with your junipers. Check for Bag Worms on your junipers. they form little cocoons hanging down on the branches of the shrub, the cocoons are the size of half your thumb and as big around, it is made up of the needles and if you look closely at the cocoon you will see a small round opening at the top of the cocoon and as you look at it you might see a black fat worm sticking it's head out of the top. If this is your problem they will suck the life out of your Junipers in a season or 2. You have to get an insecticide for Bag Worms and after 1 or 2 treatments it will clear up the problem. If not treated they will spread to other junipers very fast. I hope this will help you with your junipers.
I'm inclined to agree with Ron. What you are dealing with is shrubs that were planted too close together for their eventual mature size. Typically they shade each other in the lower extremities as they grow and when foliage fails to get adequate sunlight and thus becomes a net consumer of the tree's resources rather than a net producer, the tree drops them. Excessive shading is the main culprit, tho salt spray may contribute if present. These appear to be in the genus Thuja and thus they are unlikely to refoliate on bare stems.

You can clean them out and live with them, thin them out a bit to reduce future shading dieback(which will progress up the stem as the trees grow) or remove them and start anew as Ron has suggested. I like the latter course myself. I am guilty of often trying to rescue a ratty shrub only to end up removing it after a couple of years... its a natural instinct of a gardener. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to