Jayden.Thomson
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Pruned Bush but Now Looking Like it's Dying

Hi guys,

New to the forum and first time posting, and I need some help!

I have recently moved into a rental property with a small garden near the front door. As a few weeks went by I realised that on the inside of the plants they were heavily dead, which stunk! I trimmed back the plants and am now worried I did too much! I took down majority of the bush as I thought it would be healthy for the plant to re grow.

It started to grow back nice and green, however, in the last two weeks, what has grown back is starting to die. I have been watering it each 1-2 days for about 45 mins in the late afternoon but just isn't changing. I don't even know what type of bush it is, so I can't google it. I have attached some images of what the bush now looks like if anyone could give some advice on what I could possibly do to revive the plant, and get it growing again! I have attached some images.

Thanks!
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Pruned Bush but Now Looking Like it's Dying

Oh ummm ..... It's some kind of evergreen, possibly a type of juniper/ cedar. Pruning evergreens, is not like pruning deciduous trees/shrubs, most of which can be cut back pretty hard and come right back.

It would have been good if you asked before chopping it all up. :shock: The inner needles on junipers often do die out where they never get any sun. They should be pruned in spring. But the inner area where the needles are dead is called "dead zone." The wood is dead there too, especially if there are areas with no needles. If you cut into this dead zone, it will not grow back from there. If you have left some of the living wood, it may grow from there.

45 min every other day watering sounds like way too much, unless that is a hose on a teeny-tiny trickle. Some of the yellowing you are seeing is probably from over watering. If you are in the northern hemisphere, your juniper should be going dormant for the winter and you should not be watering it at all.
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Jayden.Thomson
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:05 am

Re: Pruned Bush but Now Looking Like it's Dying

Thanks for your reply!

I pruned it back at the start of spring (I am in Sydney Australia). It has just turned Summer here. The green that has started to grow back has now pretty much all turned brown. Should I water it less? Would it pay to lightly water the needles themselves as there has been next to no rain in the last few months?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Pruned Bush but Now Looking Like it's Dying

OK sorry. It does always help to tell us where you are located.

Cutting it back in spring was better, but still you probably cut back into dead wood that won't regrow.

And I still expect that you are over watering. But if it is hot and dry, you probably do need to water some. Junipers are drought tolerant and prefer their soil on the dry side. You want to water deeply but less frequently. Soak the area around the roots with a hose 5-10 minutes, then stop and let it soak in, then repeat once. Then DO NOT water again until the top couple inches of the soil are dry. You can test this by sticking a wooden paint stick down into the soil six inches or so. Leave it for a few minutes then pull out. Where the wood is darkened is where the soil is moist. If you get any rain in a week, don't water that week.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

imafan26
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Re: Pruned Bush but Now Looking Like it's Dying

I would be concerned about the mulch too. It looks a little thick and mulch should not be piled up to the trunk of the tree as contact with the trunk can cause it to rot. If the mulch is thick, it is better to have a drip system under it, otherwise you can be watering the mulch but not much water will get to the ground.
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