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Where Should Junipers Be Planted?

Posted by Paul Blanche

Juniperus Virginiana "Canaertii"


Juniper Canaerti

      "The Right Plant For The Right Space"

How important is it to select the right plant for the right place? Just ask my neighbor Fred. Recently he asked, "Hey Paul, why are my hostas always crispy brown and my roses rarely bloom?" Well Fred, I'm glad you asked.....I think.

Canaertii is native to North America and the midwest. Hardy in zones 3-9 with a mature height of 25-35 feet and a spread of 8-15 feet. Probably it's best attribute is it's drought tolerance and adaptability to difficult soils and sites. As we have seen, Eastern red cedar will grow almost anywhere. It is not uncommon to see them growing out of rock croppings with very little soil and/or rocky soils. An attractive plant, with it's horizontal branching habit and dark green foliage with showy blue and abundant fruit. "Canaertii" is a female clone as red cedar trees have separate male and female plants (dioecious). I enjoy the fact that it remains dark green in winter and mature plants have interesting exfoliating reddish-brown bark.

Let's look at the applications of upright junipers and canaertii. They make an excellent screen, good for shelter belts and wind breaks, or simply planted as a specimen. As a designer, I have found upright junipers work well to break up horizontal lines along buildings and homes.

Many nurseryman would agree, that upright junipers make a great alternative to other evergreen trees that have been so common and widely used, not to mention beset by disease. A big hurdle for retailers and landscapers alike, is trying to sell the customer on it. True, it's not as showy and pretty as arborvitae and other evergreen trees, but it is more practical. Throughout my sales territory there are markets that use it widely and there are areas that are still warming up to the idea. It has been interesting selling and introducing upright junipers throughout my midwest territory.


Tags: Plants, General, Evergreens, Trees, Shrubs