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Juniper

Juniperus sabina tamariscifolia Juniperus chinensis 'Pfitzeriana'
Juniperus sabina tamariscifolia
G. Lumis
Juniperus chinensis 'Pfitzeriana'
G. Lumis

Link: Juniper-Apple Rust

Junipers range in size from low-growing ground covers to shrubs and small trees. Most junipers are dense, with tree forms from columnar to pyramidal and narrow to broad; shrubs from compact to wide spreading; and ground covers from flat to mound-shaped.

This genus of narrowleaf evergreens possesses aromatic wood, shreddy bark and scale-like leaves, which are usually needle-like on young plants. The leaves are opposite or in threes with the upper surface having two separate or blended white lines. The foliage color ranges from dark to light green to blue to silver, with some yellow-colored cultivars.

Junipers are dioecious; that is, they are like holly - the female or fruit-bearing flowers are all on one plant, while the pollen bearing male flowers are on another. Many cultivars are especially attractive in fruit even though it may take from one to three years for the fruit to ripen. The oil of juniper, extracted from the berries, is used to flavor gin.

Culture

Junipers as a group will withstand hot, poor, dry soils and will probably do as well as any other evergreen in city areas. A few cultivars can be used in partial shade; however, dense shade causes plants to become thin and "leggy."

Most dwarf or slow-growing types require little pruning; however, certain cultivars such as Juniperus chinesis 'Pfitzerana' and 'Hetzii' should be pruned extensively to maintain a compact, symmetrical habit. The upright types should be pruned to maintain a dense plant, and some irregular forms such as J. virginiana 'Canaertii' require more extensive pruning to obtain a symmetrical shape.

As with most plants, certain insects and diseases are troublesome. The most serious diseases of certain junipers is Phomopsis blight, which causes the ends of branches to become brown. This disease is usually not serious in the landscape but can be controlled by spraying the young foliage several times during spring and summer with a fungicide such as Benomyl.

Spider mites may become serious during hot weather and can be controlled when first seen with a miticide. Bagworms can be picked off the foliage or sprayed when small with an insecticide such as Sevin.

Landscape Use

Junipers are important evergreens for landscape use due to their tolerance of unfavorable soil conditions, their hardiness and great variation in size, habit, color and growth rate.

Junipers are used as ground covers, in foundation plantings, or as hedges, screens or windbreaks. These plants may also be utilized for background plantings in shrub beds or flower gardens, as specimen plants, in rock gardens or for topiary or espalier purposes. Regardless of the use of junipers in the landscape, consideration must be given to ultimate plant size in relation to the space available because certain cultivars are vigorous in rate of growth.

Selected Juniper Species and Cultivars for Landscape Planting

Low Types (Up to 1 1/2')

  • Juniperus conferta "Blue Pacific".........Blue Pacific shore juniper

  • Juniperus chinesis var. Sargentii..........Sargent Chinese juniper

  • Juniperus chinesis var. "San Jose".........San Jose Chinese juniper

  • Juniperus horizontalis "Bar Harbor".......Bar Harbor creeping juniper

  • Juniperus horizontalis "Douglassi"........Waukegan creeping juniper

  • Juniperus horizontalis "Plumosa Compacta".......Compact andorra creeping juniper

  • Juniperus horizontalis "Plumosa Compacta Youngstown".......Youngstown andorra creeping juniper

  • Juniperus horizontalis "Blue Chip"........Blue Chip Creeping Juniper

  • Juniperus horizontalis "Wiltoni"..........Wilton (Blue Rug) creeping juniper

  • Juniperus procumbens......................Japgarden juniper

  • Juniperus procumbens "Nana"...............Dwarf Japgarden juniper

  • Juniperus procumbens "Green Mound"........Green Mound Japgarden juniper

  • Juniperus sabina "Broadmoor"..............Broadmoor juniper

  • Juniperus sabina "Buffalo"................Buffalo juniper

Dwarf Types (1 1/2' to 4')

  • Juniperus chinensis "Armstrong"...........Armstrong Chinese juniper

  • Juniperus chinesis "Gold Coast"...........Goldcoast Chinese juniper

  • Juniperus chinesis "Pfitzerana Compacta"...........Compact Pfitzer

Chinese juniper (several selected cultivars)

  • Juniperus chinesis "Mint Julep".......... Mint Julep Chinese juniper

  • Juniperus chinesis "Sea Green"............Sea Green Chinese juniper

  • Juniperus squameta "Blue Star"............Blue Star Singleseed juniper

  • Juniperus squameta "Saybrook Gold"........Saybrook Gold Chinese juniper

Small Types (4' to 6')

  • Juniperus chinesis "Hetzii Glauca"....... Hetz Chinese juniper

  • Juniperus chinesis "Pfitzeriana"..........Pfitzer Chinese juniper

Large Types (6' to 25')

  • Juniperus chinesis "Hetzii Columnaris"....Hetz Columnar Chinese juniper

  • Juniperus chinesis "Keteleeri"............Keleleer Chinese juniper

  • Juniperus scopulorum "Gray Gleam".........Gray Gleam juniper

  • Juniperus scopulorum "Blue Heaven'........Blue Heaven juniper

  • Juniperus virginiana "Burkii".............Burk Eastern redcedar

  • Juniperus virginiana "Canaertii"..........Canaert Eastern redcedar

  • Juniperus virginiana "Skyrocket"..........Skyrocket Eastern redcedar

Information provided by the Ohio State University Extension Service