Itoigawa Shimpaku Yellowing & Browning Help?

Over the last couple of weeks my beautiful tree has been turning yellow and browning at the tips. I’ve been in constant care for this tree since I got it and now I’m not sure what is happening. I place close attention to the moisture in the soil between waterings and am watering when the soil dry out a little. Is anyone familiar with this coloring and cause?

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Browning and dying branch tips may indicate an insect infestation such as spider mites. You can check for this by holding a piece of white paper under a juniper branch and shaking it. Look at any small specks that fall on the paper through a magnifying glass. If you see brown, red, green or yellow eight-legged insects, your juniper has spider mites.

When i see it correct on the pictures you see a yellowing of the full tree which is a sign for a root related problem. I would check your watering. Perhaps you water too much or too less, perhaps your soil is starting to decompose…
Whenever you see problems on the whole tree it is most probably a problem with the roots. Pests are more likely if you see problems on just a few branches or sections of the tree.

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Thanks Skeil - I’ve been browsing through this Forum and Bonasai Nut trying to determine the best way for identifying root problems. I use my moisture meeter to determine soil wetness and dryness. I’ve been watering only when the first half inch of soil drys out.

Do you know of any methods for better identifying root problems. The container is propped up on one side of the area with a wooden block to increase the amount of oxygen through the soil.

Thank you KSS, I’m going to check for spider mites for safe measure. Have you ever had them before? Any recommendations on addressing them?


Safer’s Soap works well.

I checked my shimpaku today for spider mites. Major tip browning. Found one little critter; Smished; left a red smear…
I suspect MY tip problem was the one 17F night after I pulled them out of storage…
The trees is doing well, thought. The shimpaku that is RIGHT NEXT to it has no tip problem. Spent 3 hours today doing bark removal and live vain work… Oh joy!

Hmmm… Your watering sounds good to me. You said that the pot is on an angle. I’m not sure if i see it correct on the pictures but is it a colander? Whenever you tip a pot on an angle you need a hole on the lowest point of the pot. If your pot is a colander you shouldn’t have a problem, if it is a pot you should check if you have a hole on the lowest point or else the angle can make the problem even worse.

Checking for root problems is really hard. Most of the time i try to get the tree to next spring as healthy as possible and address this topic then in the next repot.

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Perhaps Juniper tip blight - phomopsis, a fungal disease. Treat every 2 weeks now to control and try dormant spray in early spring.