Skyrocket Juniper Help

tami2007April 16, 2007

I have had a skyrocket juniper for about 3 years. I love the way it looks. This last spring, I checked on it and it looked like someone jumped on it! I think it was wind and heavy snow. How do I make it look good again? Here are some pics. Just copy and paste in your browser to go to both links.

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    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 8:33PM
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Yes what? If you look at the picture, the whole tree is leaning away from the house and how do I make it look good again?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 6:50PM
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Couldn't see the pic, it was hidden behind some very nasty pop-ups. Can you find a more user-friendly image host?

I'd guess conifers' "yes" was in response to your guess "I think it was wind and heavy snow".


    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 6:55PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Its hard to tell if the entire tree is leaning as if the roots didn't hold or if it starts to lean further up. If the entire tree is leaning from the ground up I guess I'd be a little concerned about the root system. Three years should have been enough to anchor the plant. Your ornamental grass (miscanthus sinensis?) does not seem too adversely affected and my miscanthus sinensis strictus is pretty beat up by now. That leads me to think the condition may be more from snow load than wind. Where in zone 5 are you and which direction does this side of the house face. Did you have a heavy wet snowfall after the ground thawed? And also, do you recall the process used when the tree was planted (was it B&B or in a pot, rootbound, hole depth & width etc, etc). Just need a bit more info in order to help.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 8:14PM
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Snow load..from the pic, it doesn't seem like it could be anything else.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 8:27PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

what direction is it from the building....??? ... junipers love full sun ...

and i agree it was snow or ice damage ....

but to be very blunt .. it has totally outgrown its spot ... IF IT WERE ME .... i would buy a duplicate ... they aren't that expensive.. and i would be done with the monster ... its too big and too close to the building.. it seems to want to grow out to the light.. and the building is probably complicating the snow issue .. a tree that size should be at least 5 to 10 feet from the building ... technically .. foundation plantings are supposed to hide the foundation .. not be planted on the foundation ...

there are plants better suited to being so close to a structure.. a dwarf would grow slower and remain smaller over time ...

i don't really see how you are going to be able to save it .. i used to tie my similar conifers up, so as to make them tighter in winter ... and then decided i didn't need the exercise .. and one of these winters i will be removing a lot of them ...

good luck


    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 9:03AM
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Here is another picture. As you can see, I needed something tall and skinny against the bare side of my tall house. The Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus' has never been a problem. This is the first time I have noticed the tree being 'crooked'. I have checked and it's not becoming uprooted. I think it is leaning further up. I am in Northwest Indiana and the tree is facing northeast. I'm sure it gets some wind, but we did have a heavy wet snowfall around the first of April. The tree was planted from a pot and was about 5-6 ft. tall. It is now 10-12 ft. tall. I love the heigth of it against the house. Should I prune it? I don't think I could tie it up because it's so tall. If I did get rid of it, what else could I plant there that would give me the same effect?
Thanks to everyone for their help!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 7:26PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Yes, I think part of the problem is that the tree has already been growing for some time out from the wall seeking more light. As such it has become vulnerable to wind and snow. If you are determined to keep it there you will probably have to anchor it to the house; screwing hooks into the siding is not to be done lightly or without sealing, but that is one option. At least you could maybe tie the floppy branches in to the trunk.

An alternative plant might be a columnar or upright growing yew, but I suspect light-seeking will always be a feature of what you grow there. You have some scope for a more textured and varied planting there with a deeper bed, I think, but if you like the regimental formal look (and I do in some settings) then just replacing the juniper might be your best bet. Actually though, why not try pruning it and tying it in a bit first, and see if it can work for a few more years?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 9:31PM
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Thank you! I think I will probably keep it for a couple more years if I can. I like the deeper bed bit, but could I replant the same kind of tree, just further away from the house? It would still get wind and snow.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2007 at 6:56PM
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meeperx(z4/5 Mpls)

You might want to try binding up your juniper into a tighter cone with string in the late fall. That's what my neighbor does with their witchita blue junipers-and it seems to work for them in terms of preventing breakage from heavy snow.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 6:12PM
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How tall does the Skyrocket get. I don't have great soil. It's hardpanish after about 8"s

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 12:19AM
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