Do you have a juniper tree or shrub in your yard and you’re not sure what type it is?
In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of junipers and how to care for them. Junipers are a popular evergreen tree that can be found in many yards across the country.
They come in many shapes and sizes, and can be used for both landscaping and privacy hedges. We will provide identification tips, as well as information on watering, fertilizing, and pruning.
In this article:
- Juniper tree facts
- Juniper Trees vs Juniper Shrubs
- How to Identify Juniper Trees
- Juniper Tree Leaves
- Juniper Tree Cones
- Juniper Berries
- Juniper Tree Bark.
- Types of juniper trees
- 1. Alligator Juniper (Juniperus deppeana)
- 2. Blue Pacific Juniper (Juniperus conferta ‘Blue Pacific’)
- 3. Blue Point Juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’)
- 4. Blue Rug Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’)
- 5. Blue Star Juniper (Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Star’)
- 6. Brodie Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana ‘Brodie’)
- 7. California Juniper (Juniperus californica)
- 8. Chinese Juniper (Juniperus chinensis)
- 9. Common Juniper (Juniperus communis)
- 10. Creeping Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis)
- 11. Drooping Juniper (Juniperus flaccida)
- 12. Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus Virginiana)
- 13. Greek Juniper (Juniperus excelsa)
- 14. Green Mound Juniper (Juniperus procumbens ‘Nana’)
- 15. Green Mound Juniper Topiary (Juniperus procumbens ‘Green Mound’)
- 16. Hollywood Juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Kaizuka’)
- 17. Juniper ‘Wichita Blue’ Tree (Juniperus scopulorum ‘Wichita’)
- 18. Moonglow Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum ‘Moonglow’)
- 19. One-Seed Juniper (Juniperus monosperma)
- 20. Parson’s Juniper (Juniperus squamata expansa ‘Parsonii’)
- 21. Rocky Mountain Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum)
- 22. Skyrocket Junipers (Juniperus Virginiana ‘Skyrocket’)
- 23. Spartan Juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Spartan’)
- 24. Taylor Juniper (Juniperus virginiana ‘Taylor’)
- 25. Utah Juniper (Juniperus osteosperma or J. utahensis)
- 26. Western Juniper (Juniperus occidentalis)
- How to care for juniper trees
- FAQs about juniper trees
Juniper tree facts
Juniper trees are known for their sharp, evergreen needles and their strong, woody aroma. Junipers are coniferous plants in the cypress family Cupressaceae. There are around 60 different species of juniper tree, which can be found in a variety of habitats across the globe, from cold mountainous regions to hot deserts.
Juniper trees have a wide range of uses. The wood is extremely strong and durable, making it ideal for construction purposes. Juniper oil is also used in a variety of products, including perfumes, soaps and cosmetics.
Here are some interesting facts about juniper trees:
- Junipers can live for hundreds, even thousands of years. The oldest recorded juniper tree was found in Sweden and is thought to be around 9000 years old!
- Junipers are very slow-growing trees. It can take up to 20 years for a juniper tree to reach its full height of 15-20 feet (depending on the species).
- Junipers are dioecious plants, which means that there are male and female trees. Only the female trees produce berries.
- The juniper berry is not actually a berry, but a cone with fleshy scales. These “berries” are an important food source for birds and small mammals.
- Juniper trees are used in traditional medicine for their purported detoxifying and medicinal properties.
Juniper Trees vs Juniper Shrubs
There are two types of juniper plants – trees and shrubs. Both are beautiful, but they have different growing habits. Here’s a quick guide to help you decide which type of juniper is right for your landscape.
Juniper trees can grow up to 30 feet tall and have a conical or pyramidal shape. They make a great focal point in the landscape and can be used as a windbreak or privacy screen. Juniper shrubs, on the other hand, are usually lower to the ground – around three to six feet tall. They have a more compact growth habit and are often used as foundation plants or hedges.
How to Identify Juniper Trees
There are several ways to identify juniper trees. One way is to look at the needles. Juniper needles are usually blue-green in color and arranged in groups of three. Another way to identify juniper trees is by looking at the berries. Juniper berries are small and blue-black in color. They are also poisonous to humans.
If you are still unsure if you have found a juniper tree, consult a field guide or an expert. With a little practice, you will be able to identify these trees on your own. Junipers are an important part of the ecosystem and it is always exciting to find one in the wild.
Juniper Tree Leaves
The juniper tree is a coniferous tree that is native to the northern hemisphere. The leaves of the juniper tree are needles that grow in clusters of three. The needles are sharp and have a pungent aroma. The juniper tree is an evergreen, meaning that it keeps its leaves year-round.
Juniper Tree Cones
Did you know that the Juniper tree produces cones? That’s right, these beautiful evergreens produce cones that are not only attractive but also quite useful. The cones of the Juniper tree are used in many different ways, including as a source of food and medicine.
The Juniper tree is native to North America and Europe and has been used by humans for centuries. The cones of the Juniper tree are rich in nutrients and have a variety of uses.
The Juniper tree is most commonly known for its use in gin, but the cones can also be used to make a variety of other products. Juniper berry oil is used in perfumes and cosmetics, and the wood of the Juniper tree is used to make furniture and flooring.
The cones of the Juniper tree are also used in traditional medicine. The berries are said to have medicinal properties and are often used to treat digestive problems.
Berries are the fruit of a juniper tree. The trees are native to the northern hemisphere and can be found in North America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa. Juniper Berries have been used for centuries in folk medicine and are still used today in some cultures.
The berries can be eaten fresh or dried and are often used to flavor meat, sauces, and drinks. Juniper Berries are also used in some commercial products such as gin.
The health benefits of Juniper Berries are still being studied, but they are known to be high in antioxidants and vitamins A and C. Some people believe that the berries can help with digestion, inflammation, and even weight loss.
If you’re interested in trying Juniper Berries, you can find them at most health food stores. Be sure to start with a small amount and increase gradually as too much of the Berry can have a laxative effect. As always, consult with your doctor before adding anything new to your diet.
Juniper Tree Bark.
The bark of the Juniper tree is thin and scaly, with a reddish-brown hue. The wood of the Juniper tree is light and soft, making it easy to work with.
Juniper tree bark is used medicinally for its astringent, diuretic, and stimulant properties. It is also used to make dyes and incense.
Types of juniper trees
The juniper tree is a coniferous plant that belongs to the cypress family. There are about 50-60 different species of juniper trees. Junipers are found in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The most common type of juniper tree is the Eastern red cedar.
1. Alligator Juniper (Juniperus deppeana)
Growing Zones: 7-9
Alligator Juniper is a species of juniper native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, where it occurs at elevations of 1200–2100 m. The alligator juniper gets its name from the scaly-looking bark that resembles the skin of an alligator.
Alligator junipers are large shrubs or small trees, reaching a height of 15 m. The leaves are evergreen, scale-like, and arranged in opposite pairs or whorls of three. The cones are berry-like, blue-black to purple-black in color, with a diameter of 12–20 mm.
Alligator junipers grow in a wide variety of habitats, including desert, semi-desert, foothills, and mountains. In the United States, they are found in Arizona, New Mexico, western Texas, and southwestern Colorado. In Mexico, they occur in Sonora and Chihuahua.
Alligator junipers are an important food source for a variety of animals, including deer, elk, bears, and birds. The berries are eaten by over 100 species of birds, including quail, bluebirds, robins, cedar waxwings, and juncos. mammals that eat the berries include squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, skunks, and deer.
2. Blue Pacific Juniper (Juniperus conferta ‘Blue Pacific’)
Growing Zones: 5 to 9
Blue Pacific Juniper is a cultivar of the species Juniperus conferta, native to Hokkaido, Japan. It is a compact evergreen shrub growing to between one and two meters in height, with a spread of up to four meters.
The leaves are blue-green in color, needle-like, and arranged in opposite pairs. The cones are spherical, blue-black in color, and contain three to five seeds.
Blue Pacific Juniper is cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens and parks. It is also used as a bonsai subject. This juniper prefers full sun to partial shade, and well-drained soil.
It is tolerant of salt spray, making it a good choice for planting near the coast. It is also tolerant of drought and windy conditions. Once established, it requires little maintenance.
3. Blue Point Juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’)
Growing Zones: 4 to 9
Blue Point Juniper is a coniferous Evergreen shrub growing to between one and three meters in height. It has a dense, pyramidal form with ascending branches. The leaves are of two types: scale-like leaves on the shoots, and needle-like leaves on the twigs.
The cones are spherical, blue-black when ripe, and contain two seeds. The cones are borne on short, thick peduncles.
The Blue Point Juniper is native to China and Japan. It was introduced into Europe in 1839, and into the United States in 1858. The species is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in temperate regions of the world. It is also used as a bonsai plant.
4. Blue Rug Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’)
Growing Zones: 4 to 9
Blue Rug Juniper is a low-growing, spreading juniper that forms a dense mat of blue-green foliage. It is an excellent groundcover for sunny areas with well-drained soils.
Once established, it is quite drought tolerant. It does best in full sun but can tolerate some light shade. Blue Rug Juniper is relatively pest and disease free.
This juniper is often used as a groundcover or in rock gardens. It can also be planted along slopes to help control erosion. Blue Rug Juniper can be propagated by cuttings taken from softwood stem tips in late spring or early summer.
Blue Rug Juniper is an evergreen shrub that will provide interest in the landscape year-round. It is a low-maintenance plant that is easy to care for. Be sure to give it plenty of room to spread out, as it can become quite dense over time.
With its beautiful blue-green foliage and spreading habit, Blue Rug Juniper is an excellent choice for groundcover in sunny areas of the landscape.
5. Blue Star Juniper (Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Star’)
Growing Zones: 4 to 8
Blue Star Juniper is a beautiful, slow-growing juniper that is perfect for small gardens or as an accent plant.
The blue-green needles of this juniper are soft to the touch and give off a pleasant aroma when crushed.
This juniper is also deer resistant and drought tolerant once established. Blue Star Juniper is best planted in full sun in well-drained soil.
6. Brodie Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana ‘Brodie’)
Growing Zones: 3 to 9
This is an evergreen conifer that is native to North America. It is a slow-growing tree that can reach a height of 40 feet (12 meters) and a width of 20 feet (61 centimeters).
The Brodie Eastern Red Cedar has needle-like leaves that are arranged in whorls of three. The leaves are green in color and turn blue-gray as they mature. The tree produces small, spherical cones that are brown in color.
The Brodie Eastern Red Cedar is an ornamental tree that is often used as a Christmas tree. It is also used in the landscape as a specimen tree or hedge.
The tree prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It is tolerant of drought and salt. The Brodie Eastern Red Cedar is also resistant to many pests and diseases.
7. California Juniper (Juniperus californica)
Growing Zones: 8 to 10
California Juniper, also known as Southern scrub oak and Mountain mahogany, is a species of juniper native to the western United States.
The California Juniper is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing to 15 m (49 ft) tall.
The leaves are scale-like, arranged in opposite decussate pairs or whorls of three, and have a sharply pointed apex.
The cones are berry-like, blue-black with a white waxy coating, and contain three to five seeds; they mature in about 18 months.
The male cones are yellow and shed their pollen in early spring.
The California Juniper is found in the foothills and mountains of California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona.
It is common in the Sierra Nevada, where it grows at elevations of 900-2900 m (3000-9500 ft).
The California Juniper is a member of the Cupressaceae family, which includes cypresses, junipers, and redwoods.
8. Chinese Juniper (Juniperus chinensis)
Growing Zones: 4 to 9
Chinese Juniper is a species of juniper native to China. The Chinese name for the juniper is “qin wen”, which means ” Qin dynasty coin”.
Juniperus chinensis is a small to medium-sized tree growing to 15–25 m (49–82 ft) tall, with a trunk up to 60 cm (24 in) diameter. The leaves are of two types, both scale-like: awl-shaped outer leaves 0.75–0.85 mm (0.030–0.033 in) long, and needle-like inner leaves about twice as long at around 15 mm (0.59 in).
The cones are berry-like, blue-black, ripening brown and fleshy, with a diameter of around 12 mm (0.47 in). They contain one to three seeds, which are dispersed when birds eat the cones and deposit the seeds in their droppings elsewhere.
9. Common Juniper (Juniperus communis)
Growing Zones: 3 to 8
Common Juniper is a species of juniper native to northern Europe and northern Asia. It grows 20-40 m (66-131 ft) tall, with a trunk up to 60 cm (24 in) diameter.
The leaves are of two types: sharp needle-like leaves on young plants, and scale-like leaves on adult plants; both are green.
The fruit is a berry, green ripening purple-black, and contains three seeds; they are generally consumed by birds.
10. Creeping Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis)
Growing Zones: 3 to 9
Creeping Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis)) is a low-growing, evergreen shrub that is native to North America.
It is a popular landscape plant because it is easy to care for and provides year-round interest. Creeping Juniper can be used as groundcover, in mass plantings, or as an accent plant.
This hardy shrub tolerates a wide range of conditions, including full sun and poor soils. It is drought-tolerant once established and does not require much fertilizer. Creeping Juniper is also deer-resistant.
Creeping Juniper is a low-maintenance plant that requires little pruning. If you do need to prune it, wait until late winter or early spring. This shrub can be propagated by rooting stem cuttings.
Creeping Juniper is a versatile plant that is easy to care for and provides interest in the landscape year-round.
11. Drooping Juniper (Juniperus flaccida)
Growing Zones: 8b to 11
Drooping Juniper is a low-growing, spreading juniper that reaches only about one foot in height at maturity. It has a dense, prostrate growth habit and produces pale blue berries. The needles of this juniper are soft to the touch and have a drooping appearance, hence the common name.
Drooping Juniper is an excellent groundcover for sunny, dry locations. It is tolerant of poor soils and drought once it is established. This juniper is also deer resistant. Propagate Drooping Juniper by seed, cuttings, or layering.
Seeds of the Drooping Juniper can be collected from the berries in late summer or fall. The berries should be ripe and slightly soft to the touch. Collect them by gently rubbing the berries between your hands to release the seeds.
Store the seeds in a cool, dry place until you are ready to plant them. stratification treatment will improve germination rates. Seeds can also be sown directly into the ground in fall or spring.
12. Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus Virginiana)
Growing Zones: 2 to 9
Eastern Red Cedar is a species of juniper native to eastern North America, from southernmost Canada to northernmost Mexico. It occurs as an introduced species in Europe.
Eastern Red Cedar is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree growing to 20–35 m (66–115 ft) tall with a trunk up to 60 cm (24 in) diameter. It is often a multiple-trunked tree, forming clumps of several trunks with a maximum height of about 15 m (49 ft).
The leaves are of two types, juvenile needle-like leaves 15–25 mm (0.59–0.98 in) long on seedlings and young plants, and adult scale-leaves with a broad, cedar-like (hence the common name) feathery appearance, borne on slightly flattened shoots.
These scale leaves are 0.35–0.55 mm (0.014–0.022 in) long and 0.28–0.48 mm (0.011–0.019 in) wide with a rounded apex. The flowers are monoecious and occur in small, compact, bisexual cones.
The male cones are 0.35–0.55 mm (0.014–0.022 in) long, while the female ones are slightly larger at 0.45–0.75 mm (0.018–0.030 in).
13. Greek Juniper (Juniperus excelsa)
Growing Zones: 5 to 9
Greek Juniper is an evergreen shrub or small tree in the genus Juniperus, in the family Cupressaceae. It is native to Greece and Turkey.
The Greek juniper is a shrub or small tree growing to between
It has a conical to oval-conical shape with a dense crown. The leaves are of two types: the juvenile leaves are needle-like, while the adult leaves are scale-like. The cones are berry-like, blue-black in color, and contain three to five seeds.
The Greek juniper is dioecious, with male and female cones on separate plants. It is pollinated by wind.
The Greek juniper is used in the production of gin and as an ornamental plant.
The wood of the Greek juniper is hard and durable. It is used in the construction of fences, buildings, and furniture.
The Greek juniper is classified as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
14. Green Mound Juniper (Juniperus procumbens ‘Nana’)
Growing Zones: 4 to 9
Green Mound Juniper is a low-growing, spreading juniper. It is native to Japan where it is found on hillsides and in mountains up to an elevation of 1500 m. The leaves are scale-like, arranged in opposite pairs, green to blue-green above and yellow-green below. The cones are spherical, blue-black when ripe, and contain two to three seeds.
Green Mound Juniper is an excellent plant for use as a groundcover or in rock gardens. It is tolerant of sun and shade, but prefers full sun.
It is also tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions, including both well-drained and moist soils. This juniper is low-maintenance and does not require pruning. However, it can be sheared to maintain a desired shape.
Green Mound Juniper is susceptible to a number of diseases and pests, including Phomopsis tip blight, scale insects, and spider mites. However, these problems are rarely serious enough to warrant control measures.
15. Green Mound Juniper Topiary (Juniperus procumbens ‘Green Mound’)
Growing Zones: 4 to 9
Green Mound Juniper Topiary is a compact, dense, evergreen shrub that is perfect for topiary. It has rich green foliage that is arranged in neat, small needles. This Juniper is slow-growing and easy to care for, making it an ideal choice for beginners. Prune it into any shape you desire!
This tough little plant is native to Japan and Korea, and it can be found in mountains and forests. It is also cultivated in gardens and parks. The Juniperus procumbens ‘Green Mound’ is a popular choice for bonsai.
16. Hollywood Juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Kaizuka’)
Growing Zones: 5 to 9
This cultivar of Chinese juniper was discovered in Japan and introduced to the western world in 1901. It is a slow-growing evergreen that can reach up to 20 feet tall and wide at maturity. The Hollywood Juniper has dense, dark green foliage that is arranged in scale-like leaflets.
The tips of the foliage turn a bronze color in winter. This juniper is tolerant of a wide range of soils and can even tolerate some drought once it is established.
Hollywood Juniper is an excellent choice for hedges, topiary, or as an accent plant in the landscape.
17. Juniper ‘Wichita Blue’ Tree (Juniperus scopulorum ‘Wichita’)
Growing Zones: 3 to 7
Juniper ‘Wichita Blue’ Tree is a deciduous conifer that is native to North America. It is a widely adaptable tree that can be found in a variety of habitats, from prairies to woodlands. The ‘Wichita Blue’ cultivar is a relatively new addition to the species, and was first introduced in the early 21st century.
This tree gets its name from its stunning blue-green foliage, which is a standout amongst other color forms of the species. The ‘Wichita Blue’ cultivar is also notable for its compact growth habit, reaching a height of only 20-30 feet at maturity. This makes it an ideal tree for small yards and gardens.
18. Moonglow Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum ‘Moonglow’)
Growing Zones: 3 to 8
A must-have for any landscape! With its beautiful blue-green needles, it is perfect for use as a specimen plant or in groupings. It can reach up to 15 feet tall and 20 feet wide, so give it plenty of room to grow.
This juniper is very drought tolerant once established, so it is perfect for those who do not want to spend a lot of time watering their plants. It is also deer resistant, so you do not have to worry about your landscape being eaten by these pesky animals.
This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers well-drained soil, but will tolerate a wide range of soil conditions. It is hardy in zones three through eight.
19. One-Seed Juniper (Juniperus monosperma)
Growing Zones: 4 to 8
One-Seed Juniper is a species of juniper native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, where it grows at altitudes of 900-2500 m. The tree rarely exceeds 15 m in height, but can reach 20 m in ideal conditions.
The leaves are scale-like, arranged in opposite pairs or whorls of three, and measure 0.75-15 mm long. The cones are berry-like, with a single seed enclosed in a fleshy, scale-like structure. The cones turn from green to purple as they mature, and measure 15-25 mm in diameter.
One-Seed Juniper is an important species for wildlife in the southwestern United States. The berries are an important food source for birds and small mammals, and the trees provide shelter and nesting sites. The wood is hard and durable, making it valuable for a variety of purposes.
One-Seed Juniper can be found in a variety of habitats, from dry, rocky slopes to mesas and canyon bottoms. It is tolerant of a wide range of soils and climates, making it a valuable species for reclamation and revegetation projects.
20. Parson’s Juniper (Juniperus squamata expansa ‘Parsonii’)
Growing Zones: 4 to 9
Parson’s Juniper is a great plant for those who are looking for a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plant. This juniper is a slow grower, but can reach up to 20 feet tall and 12 feet wide at maturity. The Parson’s Juniper is an evergreen with blue-green needles and a dense habit.
This plant is drought tolerant once established, but will appreciate occasional watering during extended periods of drought. Parson’s Juniper is hardy in USDA zones four through nine.
This juniper is a great choice for privacy hedges, screening, or windbreaks. It can also be used as an accent plant or foundation planting. Parson’s Juniper is relatively deer and rabbit resistant.
21. Rocky Mountain Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum)
Growing Zones: 3 to 8
Rocky Mountain Juniper is a species of juniper native to western North America, in the United States from eastern Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota south through Colorado and Utah to northern Arizona, and in Mexico from Chihuahua south to Sonora.
It is a columnar or conical tree growing to 20–35 m (66–115 ft) tall, with a trunk up to 60 cm (24 in) diameter. The leaves are of two forms, both needle-like, but borne on long shoots and short shoots respectively.
The cones are berry-like, blue-black with a white waxy coating, and contain three to seven seeds; they mature in about 18 months after pollination.
Rocky Mountain juniper is a popular ornamental tree in parks and large gardens. It is also used for reforestation of mine spoils in the western United States, but has proved to be an aggressive invasive species in other habitats outside its natural range.
22. Skyrocket Junipers (Juniperus Virginiana ‘Skyrocket’)
Growing Zones: 4 to 9
Skyrocket junipers are one of the most popular types of junipers, and for good reason! Their fast growth rate, columnar shape, and dense foliage make them perfect for privacy screens, windbreaks, and accents in the landscape.
Despite their name, skyrocket junipers are actually relatively slow-growing compared to other types of junipers. They can reach a height of 20-30 feet and a width of only three to five feet.
Their columnar shape and dense foliage make them perfect for privacy screens, windbreaks, and accents in the landscape.
Skyrocket junipers are relatively maintenance-free, but they do require some pruning to keep their shape. If left unpruned, they can become quite leggy and scraggly.
Pruning should be done in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.
23. Spartan Juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Spartan’)
Growing Zones: 5 to 9
This is a slow-growing, dense, evergreen shrub that can reach 15 feet tall and wide. It has small, dark green needles and can tolerate a wide range of climates and soil types. The Spartan juniper is a good choice for hedges, screens, or foundation plantings.
Spartan junipers are low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, and deer-resistant. They can be planted in full sun or partial shade and do not require much pruning. If you are looking for a low-maintenance, tough shrub that will provide year-round interest, the Spartan juniper is a good choice.
24. Taylor Juniper (Juniperus virginiana ‘Taylor’)
Growing Zones: 3 to 9
A native to the United States, this juniper is a hardy and adaptable evergreen that can grow in a variety of conditions.
With its dense, green foliage and pyramidal shape, the Taylor Juniper is an excellent choice for privacy hedges or screens.
This juniper is also drought-tolerant and salt-tolerant, making it a good choice for coastal areas. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance evergreen that will add year-round interest to your landscape, the Taylor Juniper is a great option.
25. Utah Juniper (Juniperus osteosperma or J. utahensis)
Growing Zones: 3 to 7
Utah Juniper is a species of juniper native to western North America, in the United States from southeastern Alaska, southern Alberta and western Montana east to southwestern Colorado, and in northern Mexico from Sonora east to Coahuila. It grows at altitudes of 900-3000 m.
The leaves are evergreen, needle-like, arranged in opposite pairs or whorls of three, green to blue-green, with a white stomatal band on the inner surface.
The adult leaves are of two types, juvenile leaves (needles) and adult leaves; both are scale-like, but the juveniles are much larger (up to 12 mm long) and have a more pointed apex than the adults.
The cones are berry-like, fleshy, blue-black with a white waxy coating, and contain one to three seeds; they are mature in about 18 months. The male cones are smaller (up to 0.75 cm long) than the females, and shed their pollen in early spring.
26. Western Juniper (Juniperus occidentalis)
Growing Zones: 5 to 8
Western Juniper is a species of juniper native to the western United States, in the states of California, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. It is also known as Sierra Juniper and Rocky Mountain Juniper.
The tree grows to between 15 and 30 m (50 and 100 ft) tall, with a trunk diameter of up to 0.75 m (30 in). The leaves are of two types: juvenile leaves, which are needle-like and scale-like; and adult leaves, which are awl-shaped.
The cones are berry-like, with a fleshy outer layer and a woody inner layer. The berries are blue-black in color and contain up to three seeds.
The species is dioecious, with male and female cones on separate trees.
How to care for juniper trees
The best time to prune your juniper tree is in the early spring, before new growth begins. To shape your tree, start by removing any dead or diseased branches. Then, cut back any long or wayward branches to create a more compact shape.
You can also thin out the interior of the tree to improve air circulation and allow more light to reach the lower branches. When pruning, be sure to use sharp, clean tools to avoid damaging the tree.
After you’ve finished pruning, give your juniper tree a deep watering. This will help it recover from the stress of being pruned and encourage new growth. Be sure to water slowly and deeply so that the roots have a chance to absorb the water.
In general, juniper trees are low-maintenance and easy to care for. With a little pruning in the early spring, you can keep your tree healthy and looking great for years to come!
FAQs about juniper trees
What is the shortest juniper?
The Juniperus scopulorum, or Rocky Mountain juniper, is the shortest species of juniper. It grows to a height of only 15 feet (45 cm), with a trunk diameter of about 12 inches (30 cm).
The Rocky Mountain juniper is native to the western United States and Canada, where it grows in mountainous regions. This juniper is a popular ornamental plant, due to its compact size and pyramidal shape. The Rocky Mountain juniper is also the state tree of Wyoming.
The Juniperus virginiana, or Eastern red cedar, is another short species of juniper. It grows to a height of 20-30 feet (60-90 cm), with a trunk diameter of about 18 inches (45 cm). The Eastern red cedar is native to the eastern United States and Canada, where it grows in forested areas. This juniper is also a popular ornamental plant, due to its compact size and conical shape.
Are there male and female juniper trees?
No one really knows for sure. Some say that there are male and female juniper trees, while others claim that all juniper trees are actually hermaphrodites (having both male and female reproductive organs). However, the jury is still out on this one and more research needs to be done in order to determine the truth.
What is the lowest growing juniper?
The lowest growing juniper is the prostrata juniper. It is a native of Japan and Korea and typically only grows to about two feet in height. This low-growing shrub has a dense, spreading habit and its small leaves are dark green in color.
The prostrata juniper is an excellent choice for ground cover or as a low hedge. It is also tolerant of poor soil conditions and can even grow in full shade. If you are looking for a juniper that will stay relatively small, the prostrata juniper is a good option to consider.
Are junipers low maintenance?
It really depends on the specific juniper species and cultivar that you have. Some are definitely low maintenance, while others require a bit more care. In general, junipers are pretty easy to care for and make great landscape plants. With proper planting and care, they can thrive in almost any conditions.
Is juniper poisonous to dogs?
The short answer is yes, juniper can be poisonous to dogs. The berries and leaves of the juniper plant contain compounds that can cause gastrointestinal distress in dogs if ingested.
Symptoms of juniper poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and lethargy. In severe cases, juniper poisoning can lead to liver damage or even death. If you suspect your dog has ingested juniper, contact your veterinarian immediately.
What are juniper trees good for?
Juniper trees are good for a lot of things. They can be used for ornamental purposes, or to provide privacy and windbreaks. Juniper trees are also great for soil stabilization, especially on slopes and hillsides.
And because they’re drought-tolerant, juniper trees can help conserve water in dry areas. So if you’re looking for a versatile tree to add to your landscape, a juniper tree may be a good option for you.
Is a juniper tree a pine tree?
No, a juniper tree is not a pine tree. Juniper trees and pine trees are both coniferous plants, but they are in different plant families. Junipers are in the Cypress family (Cupressaceae), while pines are in the Pine family (Pinaceae).
While both types of trees have needles and produce cones, that’s about where the similarities end. Juniper trees usually have just one trunk, while pine trees often have multiple trunks. Pine needles are also much longer than juniper needles. And finally, pine cones hang down from the branches, while juniper cones point up.
In conclusion, there are many different types of juniper trees and shrubs. Some are more common than others, but all can be easily identified by their unique characteristics. With the right care, junipers can thrive in any landscape. Whether you’re looking for a low-maintenance groundcover or a stately evergreen tree, there’s a juniper variety that’s perfect for you.
What is your favorite type of juniper? Let us know in the comments below! And be sure to check out our other articles on trees and shrubs for more information on these versatile plants. Thanks for reading!