Common juniper, also known as (Juniperus communis), is an evergreen conifer which is native Britain, Europe and large parts of the northern hemisphere.

The tree loves dry conditions and thrives in native pine woodland, moorland, chalk downland and also in rocky areas. It is a declining species in the United Kingdom and is under protection.

Juniper Identification

The common juniper is usually used for a low growing shrub or small tree. It has brown bark with a greyish colour to it and usually peels with age. The twigs are short and red to brown in colour. Leaves are small, green and resemble needles and have silver bands in the inside; these are quite sharp with a sudden point at the tip. Once matured, the tree will grow anywhere up to 10m and can live for many years (around 200).

Common juniper trees are dioecious, which means that the male and female flowers are found on different junipers. The small, yellow male flowers are spherical shaped and grow close to the tips of twigs in leaf axils. Once they get pollinated from wind, the female flowers which are greenish in colour turn into purple, highly scented, cones which look like berries. They get distributed by birds which eat the cones.

Interesting fact: if you crush the leaves they will smell of lemons or apple.

Significance to Wildlife

The tree has dense foliage and provides perfect cover for nesting birds like the firecrest and the goldcrest. The leaves are plant food for caterpillars of numerous moths including the juniper pug and the juniper carpet moth. Small mammals and birds eat the berries from the tree including dormice, mistle thrush and fieldfare.

How We Use Juniper

Juniper berries have been used to make gin flavouring. More recently, they have become popular for making sauces and liqueurs. The wood has an aromatic smell and is light and gold in colour. Today the timber is used for carving and turning, along with a source to smoke food with. Berries are also used to help combat digestive and respiratory problems through an oil that is produced by them.

Threats, Pests and Diseases

This particular species is declining in both numbers and range in the United Kingdom. We don’t know the exact cause, but it seems that the trees are incapable of regenerating properly – this could be partially due to rabbits and deer’s ruining the foliage. It is thought that the juniper is susceptible by Phytophthora root rot (which causes the root system to dieback) and also Phytophthora austrocedrae, a fungus that infects the tree via its roots which causes decline.

Source by Conner John

One of the most popular types of bonsai trees is the juniper a firm favorite of many bonsai enthusiasts. However there is a huge selection of different types of trees to choose from all equally beautiful. The juniper is one of the low growing varieties producing lush greenery. This type of tree offers the choice of being able to grow it indoors or outdoors.

Juniper Bonsai care is not difficult. The most important thing is to follow a few simple rules and you should have success with your bonsai. Even though some trees prefer more shade, the juniper does best with a lot of light. It should receive a minimum of four hours of direct sunlight each day. When you are shopping for a tree, you want to select a tree that is between three and seven years old. You can inquire of your local garden center the age of the tree. If you opt to buy through mail order, it is important that the company can ship your tree overnight so that you are more inclined to get a healthy tree.

To get the real thrill of producing a work of beauty it is a better idea to get a young juniper tree and work on it ,shaping and designing as per your artistic sense, by pruning and training it. The older ones have been handled and pruned and trained already for years . However, what to choose is your wish, but a young tree will require a lot of patience, as it will take a lot of time in being trained. Please remember junipers need a lot water as well as sunshine.

A well made bonsai is a work of art and if you provide the proper Juniper Bonsai care, yours will make a magnificent looking bonsai. This variety remains green throughout the year and no discerning eye can miss its beauty. The plant should be placed in a humidity tray to ensure that it gets the correct level of humidity required for its healthy growth.

To make the Green Mound Chinese Juniper (a conifer of Japanese origin) grow strong and healthy, it is best planted in a 5-zone and should get plenty of sun and fluid foods and fertilzers every month.

If the time comes that you would like to re-pot your juniper tree this is best done in early spring. This is normally done after it has been in the same pot for between two to three years. This is a simple easy task to do. Gently remove the plant and root ball from the container. If the tree has been wired simply clip the wire and gently remove.

The next step is to trim the root ball using sharp scissors taking the bulk off from the sides and bottom usually to about one half inch. Then replant your juniper in a clean pot using well drained soil. After re-potting it is best to leave the tree in a shaded area for four weeks and then start feeding with liquid food.

It is important to keep in mind that each different tree needs its own separate attention; however, Juniper Bonsai care is not complicated if you keep a few simple steps in mind. Remember that the best time to prune this tree is during the late spring and early summer months. You can do so on an as-needed basis until about mid-September. When new growth is around one inch long, use your fingers and thumb to pinch back approximately half of an inch and tug slightly.

Source by Lee Dobbins

Homeowners looking for quick privacy hedges or landscape accents often opt for fast growing shrubs. Nurturing plants to maturity can be enjoyable in itself, but sometimes impatience may get the best of us and we would like something fast and equally as appealing. Here we list a few fast growing shrubs and their unique characteristics.


This densely branched shrub exhibits a very bristly quality – the stems shoot from the branches in what is sometimes called a ‘herringbone pattern’, which also happens to be a very popular pattern in hardscaping, most notably brick work. Cotoneaster’s jagged and bristly appearance becomes contrasted when it bears its shiny red berries which are a real eye-catcher.

Red Twig Dogwood

Dogwood has always been noted for its exceptional beauty when in bloom, but this particular type is still stunning even when the leaves, flowers, and berries are long gone in the winter months. It it during these cold months when you can get an unobstructed view of its fantastic reddish bark. After a snowfall, the stark contrast with the vibrant bark of the red twig makes for an otherworldly image.


Lilacs have always stood out as a true olfactory delight, a deciduous flowing shrub with as much beauty as it has character. The spring time bloom produces very pleasing lavender-blue flowers in dense clusters, with a most delightful fragrance.


Beautyberry is a very fast-growing shrub, so much so that many will recommend keeping the plant pruned to around a foot off the ground in the spring time. By the end of the summer, this little gem exhibits a dazzling display of violet and purple berries.


A truly wonderful shrub delivering both impressive size and a stunning green color. For homeowners who desire privacy, these are wonderful to use as hedges, they grow fairly quickly and provide a fair amount of coverage, although not all kinds of Arborvitae are suitable for use as privacy hedges. The type most commonly used for privacy is “Emerald Green” Arborvitae, growing to over 12 feet tall and several feet wide at maturity.


Canadian Hemlock, classified as both evergreens and conifers, is a fairly slow growing specimen with loads of longevity. At full maturity these trees can reach up to 80 ft. or more in height, however there are compact cultivars (essentially shrubs) which are perfect for use as hedge plants. The full size trees can also serve as a massive privacy screen. These are very low maintenance, leave very little mess and are very tolerant of shade.

Burning Bush

This feisty breed of shrub is very common and somewhat of a pest for some people as it can spread like wildfire if unchecked, and generally this plant is considered invasive. In the Autumn months this particular shrub really shines, the fall foliage is a brilliant mix of reds, oranges and pinks. For average homeowners desiring a pleasing autumn accent, Burning Bush fits the bill just fine, however many avid landscapers and gardeners despise this plant because of its tendency to dominate areas in which it grows and forcing native plant life out. Sumac is highly recommended as a possible alternative to Burning Bush.

Source by Kostas Menegakis