Creeping Juniper Is Discoloring And Losing Branches To Fungus

Question From: Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada
Q: Hi Nancy, I have a good size patch of creeping junipers divided by a concrete sidewalk. About a half a dozen years ago, part of the patch developed a fungus, patches of the plants started to discolor, and whole branches were dying to expose the ground. I contacted the local nurseries and was given different products to prevent the spreading of the problem. None of it worked, and the problem worsened to the point that I eventually pulled out the plants of the effected area. This was two years ago and I now wanted to replant the area with the same junipers. Will the area now be safe for planting without the fear of losing the new plants to the fungus.

A: Al, The disease phomopsis twig blight is a soil borne disease that attacks Junipers. I think the fungus is always there, but wet soil (clay) and lack of sun stress the plants and render them vulnerable. There are varieties that are resistant, such as Blue Rug. Raised beds are helpful. I suggest you work with a good nursery to research what is available in your area and do your best to provide the best cultural conditions. Good Luck, Nancy and thanks for visiting

Comment: Thank you Nancy for your comment. I will work with the local Nursery with the information that you have provided. Since the fungus remains in the soil I may have to change to a different shrub that will not be affected by the soil situation. Again thanks for your answer to my question.