Chinese Juniper Shrub – Tips On Care
There are many types of chinese junipers. Some are hardy and some not so much.
There are different kinds of plants which have been grown for centuries. The most common kind is called “Juniperus chinensis”. They grow in the temperate zones from northern Canada to southern Mexico and southward into Central America. The species is native to China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and other countries in Asia. The leaves are small, flat, smooth and elliptical. They are dark green with white stripes along their margins. These plants need full sun or partial shade. The flowers are yellowish-white and appear in clusters at the ends of branches. They are fragrant when they open but become less noticeable after flowering has finished.
The Chinese juniper is a deciduous tree, which means it grows slowly through the winter months before producing new growth throughout spring and summertime. It usually produces one or two fruit pods each year.
The pods contain seeds, which are dispersed by birds and animals. Most of these seeds germinate within three years. If the seedlings do not produce enough fruit to survive, they will die back during the winter months. The trees are drought tolerant and tolerate temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 5 Celsius).
They require little water and tend to thrive in dry conditions.
Chines junipers can be used as a screen or windbreak in dry, sunny locations. They are sometimes grown as bonsai.
The berries are poisonous to humans and most animals. The tree is susceptible to snow mold and a disease called Cedar Apple Rust, which affects apples and crab apples nearby. It can also be attacked by several insects including scale, juniper webworm and juniper caterpillar.
Once established, the chinese juniper is relatively maintenance free. It does not tolerate heavy foot traffic or lawnmowers, which should be used with caution near the tree.
The plants are also vulnerable to low winter sun and can be damaged if the temperatures are too low. The trees need to be pruned during the growing season to promote a fuller shape. They can also be shaped by wiring.
The chinese juniper is an attractive rock garden plant. They can also be used as border plants, which divide one area of the garden from another.
They are used in small groupings with other evergreen shrubs to create privacy in open areas. The seeds of this plant can be harvested and used as a spice. They have a strong, resinous flavor and are used in small quantities to season meat, fish and vegetables. The berries can be made into wine or vinegar.
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Sources & references used in this article:
Trees and shrubs that tolerate saline soils and salt spray drift by BL Appleton, V Greene, A Smith, S French, B Kane… – 2009 – vtechworks.lib.vt.edu
Trees and urban forestry in Beijing, China by GV Profous – Journal of Arboriculture, 1992 – pdfs.semanticscholar.org
Habits of trees and shrubs in landscape design by E Lenard – Architecture, civil engineering, environment (ACEE), 2008 – acee-journal.pl
Preferences of cedar waxwings in the laboratory for fruit species, colour and size: a comparison with field observations by JM McPherson – Animal Behaviour, 1988 – Elsevier