Juniper with brown interior


We have two overgrown junipers, 27 years old, beneath our southfacing front window. They are trimmed every year but last year when I tried to do a more severe trim I found that after 4” of greenery the entire interior of the plants are brown and dead looking. Can the bushes be cut back or will they die. The part trimmed away last year did not recover so there is a brown hole in a lush looking planting. Thank you



While junipers will tolerate, and regenerate back from more severe pruning than many other conifers, they will not grow back from a branch which has no green growth.  Unfortunately your pruning last year appears to have gone back the dead zone underneath the green.  Here is a link to a previous response to a question put to the Toronto Master Gardeners regarding what to do with a juniper which has a large dead zone: juniper/