Care of Juniper Trees


Juniper (Juniperus) trees grow naturally along the edges of forests or lakes in areas that contain coarse, sandy soils. These conifer trees produce small, blue berries and prickly foliage that contains a strong scent. Junipers often grow in groups and sometimes form large colonies along rocky hillsides, where few other trees or plants grow. A common selection for bonsai specimens, juniper trees also add interest to yards and landscapes with their unusual appearance and scent.

Step 1

Grow your juniper tree in a sunny area of your landscape. Select a spot that receives full sunlight throughout the day. Choose an area near the top half of a hill if your landscape slopes. Avoid planting your juniper tree in a low area that may experience flooding or excessive amounts of moisture.

Step 2

Prepare the soil for your Juniper tree. Junipers tolerate pH levels between 6.0 and 8.0, but prefer slightly higher levels of alkalinity. Add some limestone to raise the pH level of acidic soils. Loosen the porosity of your soil prior to planting with sand, gravel and shredded bark. Pinions do not survive in rich or compact soils.

Step 3

Plant your juniper tree in a hole that is about twice the size of the roots. Keep the soil above the roots slightly higher than the surrounding soil to allow water to drain away from the tree. Water well after planting and add a little more soil near the trunk if the soil level sinks after watering. These trees do not tolerate standing water near their trunks or roots.

Step 4

Apply water infrequently to avoid damaging your tree with too much moisture. Allow the soil to dry out to a depth near the roots before applying water to the soil near your Juniper tree. These trees prefer arid conditions and require minimal amounts of water in the landscape.

Step 5

Fertilize your Juniper tree once each year with a time-release fertilizer specified for use on juniper trees and shrubs. Apply your fertilizer in the early spring to the soil over the roots.

Step 6

Cut off any damaged growth you notice on your Jjuniper tree. These trees do not require regular pruning but may need an occasional shaping to remove any overgrown, unsightly branches. Use sharp pruning shears to cleanly cut off any branches.

Things You'll Need

  • Limestone
  • Shovel
  • Sand
  • Gravel
  • Shredded bark
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears


  • University of Wisconsin: Trees of Wisconsin
  • Oregon State University: Juniper
  • "Botanica's Gardening Encyclopedia", Susan Page, 2001
  • Juniper Trees: Juniper Trees

Who Can Help

  • Northern Arizona University: Pinyon-Juniper Woodland
Keywords: grow junipers, juniper trees, plant juniper tree

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.