Junipers are the toughest evergreen landscape plants. There are several varieties and they are used in all parts of the United States. The colors and size depend on the variety. The shape is better when grown in a sunny location. The wood of the tree species is used for furniture (cedar chests), fuel, fence posts, and pencils. The fleshy berries are used in medicine, varnish, and flavoring for an alcoholic beverage known as gin.
O-12 This group of junipers is female, notice the berries.
O-13 This group of junipers is male, notice there are no berries.
This spreading plant grows 1-2’ high and has bluish- or gray-green color with awl-like leaves growing in threes. Cones are not seen on cultivated plants. This plant makes a handsome ground cover for landscaping in the sun. Native: Mountains of Japan.
This is a commonly planted landscape juniper. It is wide spreading, growing about 3’ high and 6’ wide. The foliage is scale like and a bright sage green. The branches grow at a 45° angle and tend to be pendulous.
N-6 Juniperus x media ‘Pfitzeriana Aurea’ This stiff-trunked juniper is flat in shape, loosely dense, and slow growing. It has very pointed, scale-like, grayish-green leaves tinged with yellow in summer that become glossy light green with age. It is referred to as the “Golden Pfitzer Juniper.” Branches grow at a 30° angle.
This native juniper, 30-40’ tall, has minute, gray-green to light-blue, scale-like, pointed leaves. The oval cones which ripen the second year are dark blue. The dark, red-brown to gray-brown stringy bark is persistent even when later cracked and furrowed. Native: Eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains and west to the coast of British Columbia and Washington.
This is our most common foothill juniper in Utah. Its scientific name means bone-seed. It is a pagoda-shaped tree that grows 8-15’ tall. The scale-like leaves are light yellowish green and the dry berries are reddish brown. It grows on dry, arid hillsides. The tree mistakenly called ‘cedar’ is actually Utah Juniper despite the pioneer usage of ‘cedar’ in Utah geography. Native: Utah, Great Basin Mountains, eastern Idaho to western New Mexico and California.
Found on rocky slopes, this is a small tree with a short, twisted trunk and a broad crown of stout, horizontal to ascending branches. The bark is cinnamon brown and divided into large, irregular, scaly plates. It is the most resin coated of all junipers. Native: Western coastline of the United States.