How to Prune a Juniper Bush Shrub


Juniper bushes are evergreen shrubs that are easy to maintain in any home landscape, and are an ideal addition because of their fragrant aroma and attractive appearance and shape. Since they are rapid growers, they need to be pruned back each year in order to stay healthy and maintain shape. It's best to prune the shrubs in late winter to early spring, before flower growth.

Step 1

Remove any broken, dead, diseased or weak branches from the juniper with the pruning shears. It is important that you do not remove more then four or five of these types of branches at a time. If there is more then five, prune back the worst five branches. Then wait until the following spring to remove any more. Look for suckers or shoots that are growing up from the dirt at the root, digging back the soil and removing the sucker as close to the root as possible with pruning scissors.

Step 2

Examine the juniper shrub for branches that are growing out at odd angles, or are intertwining with other branches, then prune them back to the base.

Step 3

Shape the top of the shrub so that the upper branches are shorter then the lower ones, and they are not hanging over them. This allows for enough sunlight to reach the entire shrub, as well as provide air circulation. Start at the top and work your way down. Don't prune more than 25 percent of the growth. Never cut back past green growth into woody growth; the woody growth will not regrow if you cut into it.

Step 4

Prune back a third of all the branches every three years in order to rejuvenate the juniper shrub.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning scissors


  • Pruning Juniper
  • Juniper Shrubs
Keywords: pruning annual shrubs, juniper care, pruning juniper

About this Author

Lauren Wise is a journalism major from Arizona State University with over forty published magazine and media articles and over 400 Web site articles. Wise owns Midnight Publishing with over eight years experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food and wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in magazines including Runway, A2Z, Scottsdale Luxury Living and True West.