Comments on: How To Prune Low, Spreading Junipers Grow your landscape business and reputation with great work Tue, 31 May 2016 12:53:49 +0000 hourly 1 By: Roger Mon, 16 May 2016 03:05:00 +0000 Aggie,
There are all types of things (chemicals, etc.) that could affect juniper. And any of this chemicals, etc. would affect other plants as well.

What makes you think it’s a chemical rather than another problem? Was someone working on the house that could have spilled (or dumped) something? Are you seeing or smelling something in the ground?

By: Aggie Sat, 14 May 2016 15:31:59 +0000 Do you know what chemicals destroy spreading junipers? I think something was left near my plants that is killing them

By: Roger Sat, 07 May 2016 16:14:41 +0000 Arthur,
Absolutely. That’s a great way to re-purpose a Blue Star. And there are other juniper varieties that lend themselves to “bonsai-like” conversion. San Jose, Parsoni, Procumbens.

Just yesterday I visited a property where a Hinoki Cypress was being trained in this manner. It looked amazing.

To me choosing a candidate for this treatment has a lot to do with the branch structure. If you look at the branch structure and it’s interesting, that’s the first sign of a bonsai-type plant. The art becomes how you then prune and maintain each one.

Great topic, Arthur. Thanks for commenting!

By: arthur kaell Sat, 07 May 2016 02:16:17 +0000 I’ve had blue star junipers (in Ottawa) which ultimately have uniformly browned in the middle. Ended up looking quite ratty and I have discarded them as necessary. Then recently I saw at a local college a specimen with the brown inner leaves carefully removed to the stems, leaving the ends growing. It resulted in a very bonsai-looking specimen (to my untutored eye). I thought it quite attractive and interesting.

By: Roger Sat, 26 Mar 2016 22:24:00 +0000 Martha,
I’ve experienced that browning on the inside of Blues Star Juniper too. It’s not likely to recover in terms of color.

I’d fertilize the plants this spring (e.g. Espoma Hollytone), and let them grow and recover as best they can through the spring and early summer. Take care not to over-water them. They don’t like it wet. Also, overhead watering from sprinkler systems is not good for their culture. In fact several varieties of low juniper languish under regimented watering from these sprinkler systems.

You could begin to prune out some of the brown later this season if it bothers you.

I’ve not had the best of luck with Blue Star. When it’s done well it looks amazing. Other times bare stems begin to show and the growth (or lack there of) does not seem to cover & compensate. Certain plants just happen to be more particular about their growing conditions (soil, exposure, etc.). Plants can indeed be a challenge. :-)

By: Martha Sat, 26 Mar 2016 21:24:03 +0000 I have 3 blue star junipers 3 years old. They looked fine in the fall. This spring after the snow melted, they are brown in the center. I am assuming winter damage. How should I prune them to get them back to looking good?

By: Roger Tue, 17 Nov 2015 03:05:23 +0000 Stephanie,
If the pruning you did stimulated new growth I would say to wrap and protect them. But I doubt that’s the case given the time of year and your “plant zone” (4?).

Cedars and junipers are pretty tough, as you probably know. It sounds like you haven’t wrapped them in the past. My feeling is they’ll be fine. Of course if it will give you more assurance and peace of mind, then by all means wrap them.

By: Roger Tue, 17 Nov 2015 02:54:55 +0000 Gary,
I’ve had mixed success with ‘Blue Star’ Juniper. And I haven’t figured out why that is. Usually one can, over time and use, figure out what a particular plant likes and dislikes. In seemingly similar conditions it will do well in one and not so good in another.

If the environment they’re in is sunny, in well-drained soil and with little neighboring root competition, they should do well. Now, of course, there could be other issues at play here too. But in general, that’s the conditions ‘Blue Star’ likes.

I would feed them in the spring (e.g. Espoma Hollytone). You could put some mulch under and around them for all the benefits mulch offers.

With regard to the dead interior branches, you could prune some of that out for appearance sake. Hopefully it will be the new growth and rejuvenation that will disguise that.

By: Gary Pieper Mon, 16 Nov 2015 18:44:41 +0000 I have 8 blue star junipers on top of a stone retaining that have been neglected terribly over time and have a lot of dead grey branches in their interior and have been covered over with fall leaves. I have removed the leaves and other debris but the interior looks pretty bad. Is there anyway I can rejuvenate the interior growth of these plants and get them back to where they once did when they were planted. They are about 10+ years old and have not seemed to grow much over the years. What kind of care do you recommend?

By: Stephanie Mon, 16 Nov 2015 15:47:30 +0000 As part of our autumn yard cleanup last weekend we pruned our cedars and junipers back a couple of inches to clear the sidewalks to make shovelling easier once the snow comes. Now doing some reading I realize I probably should have waited til spring to prune these plants – is there any point in wrapping with burlap to protect the plants through the winter or do I just have to wait and see how they do? We live in southern Alberta (just barely north of Montana) so it will get just below freezing in the next couple weeks and we expect a few weeks of -30 every winter.