Last month was it. The upright junipers rate of decline had increased and it was time to do something. Out they came. Once removed it was evident what the problem was. Years ago, in an effort to save on weeding, we laid landscape fabric throughout the flower/shrub beds. But I did not have the knowledge then that I do now.
While this was fine at first, and still is in some beds, the junipers and most recently a burning bush, succumbed to overly wet soils. We have had a lot of rain of late and the fabric holds in the moisture so much so that the roots are unable to access oxygen. Root rot ensues and there you have it. Extremely unhappy plants! And unhappy plant owners too, I might add.
So, knowledge in hand, I must make some adjustments to the beds. Move some plants. And never, never, never use landscape fabric around junipers or anything that prefers a drier, well-drained soil. Lesson learned.