Will this pruning turn green again?

hedge2345August 14, 2013

Here are before and after pictures and a close up to identify the plant that I don't know the name of.

This is in New Jersey, Pruned this week in August. About 6" was cut exposing brown spots. These plants get full sun for half the day.

If these won't turn green on their own, is there something I can do or spray etc that will ensure they turn green?

Thanks.

edit: added photos instead of a link.

This post was edited by hedge2345 on Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 20:56

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IanW Zone 5 Ont. Can.

Looks like a Mountbatten Juniper....I have found over all the years that I have been a gardener, that these fellows are notorious for this to happen if you prune too severely....the brown areas are probably dead and I would suggest that you trim them out in hopes of some rejeneration......but I wouldn't hold out for too much hope....

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 12:43AM
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hedge2345

Are you sure it won't just grow back green now that it's not blocked from the sun? Can I put fertelizer on it at least?

This post was edited by hedge2345 on Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 20:53

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 12:58AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

hedge, you can always upload additional images in follow-up posts.

The Conifers forum folks can answer your question about what will and won't grow back on which type of conifer:
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/conif/

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 1:41AM
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carol23_gw

The brown areas are dead needles. Take a rake and carefully go over the entire juniper so that at least some of the dead is removed. Use the highest power of a leaf blower to clean out the dead needles.
By removing the new growth you have exposed a build up of what lay beneath.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 6:20AM
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hedge2345

Thanks for the replies. Let me ask a few more questions while I'm looking into this.

Removing brown areas: Should I strip off only the needles and leave the branches if possible or cut out the whole branch and leave gaps throughout the plant hoping that the surrounding green branches fill it in? I tried stripping off only the dead needles from the branches, but the branch usually comes with it no matter how delicate I try.

What can I spray on it or put on the base? Something like miracle grow?

"topping it to simulate side growth" = cut the tops so it's all dead zone exposed and basically give up on the top becoming green?

Lastly, if these don't grow back in a year or so, what are good innexpensive options to put in place of these? They don't have to be as large. I got 3' plants sort of like these that don't have dead zones and stay green in the winter from costco for about $35 each and grow about a foot a year.
Thanks

This post was edited by hedge2345 on Wed, Aug 14, 13 at 22:36

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 10:30PM
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hedge2345

photo

This post was edited by hedge2345 on Wed, Aug 14, 13 at 22:45

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 10:37PM
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hedge2345

photo

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 10:39PM
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hedge2345

I'm told it's a Juniperus communis.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 10:40PM
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larry_gene

That isn't severe pruning, it's just a haircut, it will green up again, could take until next spring. But every time in the future when you prune it back to that size, brown will show.

When shrubs like this, with their thin veneer of green over a dead or brown interior, become too large for the space, it is best to start over with a new planting.

You could pare your lawn back two feet, but that wouldn't solve the corner issue.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 12:14AM
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IanW Zone 5 Ont. Can.

Well....I think you pruned too far in on such an older juniper...I can see that the one beside it is pruned way too much and I seriously doubt that it will recoup......

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 1:59AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

no.. the dead bits are dead.. those parts will not re-green ...

as to whether it will fill back in.. only time will tell ... but i would not wait for it ...

they are way past the prime of their lives... if it were my decision.. i would be thinking it is time to re-assess their value in my garden ..

i would cut them flush with the ground... widen the bed to 6 feet ... and plant some new stuff about 3 feet out from the house .. if not 4 .. see below ... then bury the whole bed in PROPER mulch ...

ken

ps: besides the fact that they are planted too close to the house.. necessitating the shearing ... i mean really.. a plant that is 6 to 8 feet wide.. planted ONE FOOT from the foundation .... and as to replacements.... you better learn all about the annual growth rates of conifers... you have a 2 foot wide bed .... frankly.. nothing but the ultimate MINI should be planted there .... do NOT buy the cosco $35 bargains.. unless. you plan on widening the bed to 6 feet.. and planting these at least 3 feet from the foundation ....

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 10:45AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

Why were they sheared in the first place?
What were you trying to accomplish?
I think it's time to remove them.
Mike

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 3:09PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

An alternative to expanding the depth of the flower bed (some lots are quite narrow, and you may need that lawn as lawn in order to get the mower to the back yard) would be to choose narrower evergreens for the replacements.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 5:41PM
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hedge2345

"Why were they sheared in the first place?
What were you trying to accomplish?"

In case a year or so of trimming was missed, so the branches would still be cuttable with a standard hedge trimmer without the plants having to be bigger than they are now.
Thought they'd turn green a month or so after trimming.

This post was edited by hedge2345 on Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 21:07

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 8:42PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Some trees/shrubs will sprout new growth from old wood; but others can't: that ability is not in their genes. The trick is knowing which is which.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 9:20PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

restating what obvious said above.. in a different manner ...

trees have dormant buds.. and can bud from bare wood .... there are pruning rules for trees ...

some conifers.. which are a subset of trees... can rebud.. others cant ... but regardless.. even if they can.. it will take years ... they will not react like say.. a maple might ... there are specific pruning rules.. for specific conifers ....

all that said... these are NOT shrubs .... which have a 3rd set of pruning rules ... and yes.. i called them shrubs for the first 30 years of my life.. until i found out.. that there is a difference between tree/conifer/shrub ....

these plants need to go ...

and no.. spraying fertilizer on them.. will NOT change what they are.. nor speed up.. what they can or cant do .... its root mass is as big as the plant you see.. if you fert your lawn.. these things steal whatever they need ... including the grass clippings....

if you want to try to get someone to agree with you.. move this to the conifer forum ....

ken

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 8:14AM
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