Twig and branch dieback is a common sight in many juniper plantings in Kentucky. While other factors can cause these general symptoms, two fungal diseases are frequently responsible for the dieback. These fungi (Phomopsis juniperovora and Kabatina juniperi) attack several species of Juniperus, including red cedar, common juniper, and creeping juniper. Arborvitae is also susceptible
This publication discusses symptoms, pathogen biology, and disease management of both diseases. Because of the similarity in symptoms, a section on differentiating between the two diseases is also included, along with color photos.
Twig Blights of Juniper (PPFS-OR-W-11) is available online.
For additional publications on ornamental diseases, visit the UK Plant Pathology Extension Publications webpage.
By Nicole Ward Gauthier, Extension Plant Pathologist