How to Properly Prune Junipers


Junipers are a popular evergreen in landscape design, and they come in various types: spreading, creeping, upright and pyramidal. You can easily maintain your juniper when you follow a program of regular pruning. Do not do any severe pruning, which could stunt the plant's growth, but the plants respond well to selective thinning in late winter or early spring. In the center of the juniper is an area devoid of new growth where branches are bare. This is called a "dead zone." When you prune, leave enough green foliage so this dead zone is not visible.

Step 1

Cut away any damaged or broken branches in early spring that were caused by heavy snow and ice during the winter. This will allow the plant to produce new spring growth.

Step 2

Thin the crown of the juniper to maintain the desired size and shape. To do this, cut a branch away where it meets the parent stem or at a branch junction, remembering not to expose the "dead zone."

Step 3

Cut out any interior shaded branches that appear weak and undesirable.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruning shears
  • Lopping shears


  • Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories
  • Wanner Garden Center
Keywords: multiple leaders, prune crown, dead zone

About this Author

Paula M. Ezop’s inspirational columns "Following the Spiritual Soul" appeared in Oconee Today, a Scripps Howard publication. She has published her first book, "SPIRITUALITY for Mommies." "From Death to Living in the Light" and "Spiritual Intelligence" will be released by Ezop has a BA degree from Northeastern Illinois University and has been writing for 10 years.