It's not scale on my juniper, so what is it?

After re-potting my Shimpaku Juniper this February, I got a small flush of new growth, but many of the tips turned brown & white and kinda crumbled off soon after. It’s only the tip of the branches, so I don’t think it’s Tip Blight, and the tips kinda look fat and yellow/white.

A bunch of small white dots started appearing around the same time, but they don’t look like bugs, and they come off easily & appear to be a dry white flake. There have been more of them over the past few weeks, but not a huge outbreak. On other branches, the growth appears to be healthy enough.

Here’s a short video

Any thoughts as to what this is?

Despite the title, it looks like scale to me. Check to see if there is more of the white objects on the underside of the foliage. Typically scale is heavier on the underside. Did you apply any treatment that may have killed the scale and left the dried up shells?
The issue of brown tips after repot could simply have been a response to the repot and restricted intake affecting the newest growing tips.

Congratulations it’s a boy! They sure look like male pollen sacs.

The other person said “they come off easily & appear to be a dry white flake”

LOL, love working with pictures. It will be interesting to see how and if they develop further. Does this mean cigars are in order!

The white dots along the shoots look like scale. The yellow, pointed tips look like male flowers.

One of the best controls for scale is simply thinning the foliage. They don’t seem to like the sun as much.

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here’s what came up when I googled “should you remove male flowers from juniper bonsai”:

:stuck_out_tongue:

As for the scale, it doesn’t exactly line up with the descriptions I’ve found in academic postings online (there is no brown bug inside the white bump), but I’m going to proceed anyway with a horticultural oil treatment.

Linking to what I found for posterity:


https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=917

https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef429

Ha, thanks for the links Jesse. Do note that a number of people have had trouble with oil on junipers. I haven’t seen it, but I’ve heard reports of sunburn on junipers treated with it.

And I know what you mean about the brown dots. I’ve seen scale with and without the brown dots - am not sure what accounts for the difference.

All 11 of my successfully-rooted San Jose small cuttings had scale last Fall. (I guess cuttings are more susceptible to scale).
I sprayed all of them with horticultural/mineral-oil.
Currently, 5-6 are alive - 2-3 healthy and green, the rest are struggling and had tip blight. I cut off the brown/blight tips and hope they make it and grow this season.

I went ahead and did a pretty thorough thinning (after having rubbed off all scale that I could find), so we’ll see how it responds!

Here’s what it looked like earlier this year before I saw any scale:

Here’s after the thinning, still plenty of foliage (I hope!):

Looks great Jesse - and you left plenty of foliage too!