Junipers may be tall, upright, and stately, or low creeping shrubs, but regardless of form, many junipers sport dead tips and brown needles in early spring. To determine the appropriate management strategy, gardeners must take a closer look to ascertain the true cause of the damage.
|Juniper with brown dead branch tips. M. Grabowski, UMN Extension|
|Raised black spore producing structures of Kabatina blight. M. Grabowski, UMN Extension|
|Gray stem tissue divides healthy green tissue from brown needles in Phomopsis shoot blight. M.Grabowski, UMN Extension|
Rodent damage - Although juniper may not seem like a tasty meal to you or I, voles and rabbits have been known to strip bark off juniper stems during winter. Look for dead needles on one or more branches. Follow this branch back into the canopy and look for scrape marks and removed bark along the branches.
|Vole damage to stems resulted in dead needles. M. Grabowski, UMN Extension|
|Removed bark and teeth marks in the wood clearly indicate vole feeding. M. Grabowski, UMN Extension|