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· Too Short? Cut it Again!
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Doesn't look like frost damage but in combination with wind it or heat reflected could do such damage. Any chance they are root bound in their planting holes? Too much nitrogen could cause the burning. Conifers cannot tolerate high nitrogen fertilizers. Any weird roof runoff getting them?

Might test the soil for Ph and basic minerals.

Root bound plants used to be a big problem planting in California clay soils even when properly planted. It was almost like you planted them in a patio container at times.

I used to use a long thin probe with water jets on the end (nurseries will sell them). It hooked to the end of the hose. You inserted it into the root ball and cranked up the water pressure in an attempt to break the root ball up a bit without removing the plant.

Spider mites can be tough to see. You might spray just to be sure.

These still look fairly new? Any chance you can get a credit for new ones if you have to do so?

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for writing. I looked up root bound, and yes, that could possibly be the issue with these plants. We bought them at an "end of the season" sale 2 1/2 years ago, so the roots could have been bound up during those extra months until we purchased them in November. I didn't know about separating the roots back then.

Regarding spider mites, I did the "white paper test" and didn't find any red on the paper.

It's weird that part of the plant is dark brown and obviously dead, but then other parts of that same plant are bright green.

I'll just wait and see what happens. Thanks for writing.
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