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The ground cover in front of our condo in Mystic is dying. Please take a look at the attached pictures. Perhaps you can give me some idea as to what is happening and what should be done. Thank you for your assistance. George


Ground Cover Health Hi George,
There are three possibilities.

#1 Winter damage from the cold weather we experienced this past winter. Cut off all brown stems, fertilize with Hollytone and it should regrow.

#2 Root damage or chewing of stems closest to soil by voles. The bark on the stems would have chew marks or large areas of bark that have been removed. Cut off all brown stems, fertilize with Hollytone and it should re-sprout.

#3 A fungal disease called Phomopsis, which Juniper often get. It would be best to send a sample of the Juniper to The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven to get an accurate diagnosis of what is going on. If you go online, they have an information page as to how to package a sample. They would be able to tell you how to treat it. Pruning off the dead would help it to look better but if it is Phomopsis the plant will continue to deteriorate. If the plant is removed, DO NOT plant any other kind of Juniper in this area. The fungus in the soil will eventually infect the new Juniper as well.

Good Luck.

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About Linda Lillie

Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.


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