Can these mountain cedar (juniper ashei) be saved? #167893 - Ask Extension


Can these mountain cedar (juniper ashei) be saved? #167893

Asked February 24, 2014, 10:43 AM EST

I have a stand of mountain cedar (juniper ashei) trees at my ranch in Smithville, TX.   Two of these larger cedars have foliage that has turned from green to yellow/brown (the surrounding cedars are still green).  The entire tree changed color quickly versus one spot or smaller localized area.  Are these two trees at risk and or can they be saved?The same event occurred last spring to a greater number of cedars and I quickly cut them down in an effort to reduce the risk from fire.  However I would like to save these two particular trees if possible. Thank you.

Bastrop County Texas

Expert Response

I wish you had sent a picture. I have receive calls in the past about female cedars changing color because of the flowers and pollen. The flower and pollen fall and blow off and the tree looks fine. But I do not think this is your case since you said this has happened before.

So my next question is did you or your landscape service company apply a weed and feed fertilize near or under these trees. Nothing much kills cedar trees but I have reports about certain herbicides (the weed control in weed and feed fertilizers) damaging and even killing trees. Atrazine applied around trees in clay soil damaging trees and most labels will say not to apply around trees. But the roots of cedar trees grow wide and far. The other question is has your water source for irrigation changed? I know several people are digging wells for a water supply because of water restrictions. Unfortunately many of these wells are pumping up water a little salty. Are you seeing damage to other plants. And the last killer of trees I will mention is soil movement. Have you regarded the area or added soil on top of the area where the tree roots are growing or covered the are with a structure or impervious pavement? The water absorbing roots are easily damaged with soil movement.

Be sure to call your county Extension Agent about this problem
Dotty Woodson Replied March 01, 2014, 9:42 AM EST

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