Juniper Trees | Juniperus

Juniper trees are known for their berries, which are sometimes used as spices or for essential oils. Juniper are all evergreen but vary greatly in appearance, from upright trees to low growing bushes available in various colours. The varieties here are all small enough to suit any size of garden, with some even being suitable to grow in a pot.

Choosing Juniper Trees

There are over 60 species of Juniperus, originating from the Arctic through to Africa and Central America. Juniperus communis is native to the UK, but ornamental varieties are popular in gardens. They add year-round texture and colour, with awl-like or scale-like conifer needles in shades of blue, green and golden yellow. Berries are typically blue but vary between varieties. They are produced on female trees, whereas male trees typically produce small pollen cones with a catkin-like appearance.

Upright or columnar Juniper trees are ideal for screening, narrower spaces and creating a focal point in any garden or landscaped area. Juniperus scopulorum 'Blue Arrow' is favoured for its narrow form with vivid blue foliage.

Low spreading Juniper bushes won't reach much more than 1m in height and are perfect for growing in areas where ground cover is wanted or space is restricted (their width can easily be pruned). Popular colourful varieties are Juniperus horizontalis 'Lime Glow' and Juniperus squamata 'Blue Carpet'.

Growing Juniper Trees

Juniper trees require minimal attention and are easy to grow, but do avoid wet soil. They are hardy throughout the UK with many varieties tolerating urban pollution, exposed positions and drought.

Interesting Facts About Juniper

  • Junipers are, alongside Yew, the only conifers to produce berries.
  • Juniper berries have many uses, from flavouring gin to being used in medicine to treat digestive and respiratory problems.
  • The word "gin" is an abbreviation of the Dutch name for Juniper which is "Genever".
  • The berries have been presented to new parents in celebration of the birth of a baby boy.
  • Crushed Juniper leaves smell like lemons or apples, depending on the variety. Oils for aromatherapy uses can be produced from steam distilling the leaves, berries and twigs of some varieties.
  • In some areas of the World, Juniper trees were thought to deter witches or the devil. Cuttings were traditionally hung on doorways on May Day and burnt on Halloween to ward off evil spirits.
  • Juniper wood, which is particularly aromatic, is often used for wood turning and carving.

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  • Juniperus scopulorum 'Blue Arrow' Juniper tree
    From £64.99 (ex VAT)
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