Winter kill on Juniper bushes

Asked April 30, 2015, 2:34 PM EDT

We have two old juniper bushes in front of our house. There is a little green starting to show through, but most of the top is brown - winter kill. Should we prune the brown back to where some green is showing?

Natrona County Wyoming trees and shrubs dieback on evergreens juniper cold damage pruning evergreens freeze damage to trees november freeze predormancy freeze damage

1 Response

Once the needles turn brown they are dead and there is nothing to be done that can revive dead tissue. Our best recommendation is to ensure that they are receiving adequate water. Be sure to fill the soil profile down 10 to 12 inches each time you water, then wait to water again until the top few inches of soil are dry.

Pruning will likely be required now that green is showing you will likely see where the dieback stops and new growth is starting. Just don't prune back to bare branches and the junipers only send out new growth where there is a green bud present.

If you need more specific information on tree care for stressed trees feel free to contact the Natrona County Extension Office at 235-9400 or stop by the office for additional information and handouts.