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How to Care for a Juniper Tree

By Charmayne Smith ; Updated September 21, 2017
The juniper is an adaptable tree that is tolerant to moist soil environments, climate conditions, pruning and cold.
macro green juniper image by Furan from Fotolia.com

The juniper is an evergreen conifer of the Cypress family. With more than 50 species, the juniper plant ranges in size from a small shrub to a mid-sized tree. The juniper is commonly used for landscaping, as ground cover and as privacy screens. The juniper is an adaptable tree that is tolerant to moist soil environments, climate conditions, pruning and cold. Though mostly tolerant, the juniper does not tolerate wet feet.

Plant the juniper tree in a well-drained, sunny location that is free of flooding conditions. Choose a location that receives at least six to eight hours of full to partially shaded sunlight each day.

Remove any weeds from the planting location to reduce competition with the tree. Ensure that the roots of the weeds are removed to prevent regrowth. Dig a hole for the juniper that is as deep as the root system and twice as wide, as instructed by Life123. Position the tree in the center of the hole and backfill the hole with soil. Irrigate the newly planted juniper thoroughly to remove air pockets within the soil and promote good establishment.

Irrigate your juniper tree deeply and infrequently. Irrigate the tree deeply enough to allow the water to reach about 18 inches below the surface, as recommended by the Utah State University Extension. This will provide the deeper roots with access to the water. Irrigate your younger juniper about once each week. Adjust the irrigation levels for periods of drought and rainfall.

Feed your juniper tree annually in early spring, as recommended by the University of Minnesota Cooperative Extension. Use a complete, slow-release fertilizer with higher levels of nitrogen, such as a 10-8-6 or 10-10-10 combination. Distribute the fertilizer evenly around your tree. Make sure to keep the fertilizer about a foot away from the trunk to prevent root burn. Irrigate the feed thoroughly into the soil.

Keep the juniper tree’s area free of debris and weed invasion. Remove invasive weeds from the area as they appear. Pull the weeds by the roots to prevent regrowth. Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around the diameter of the tree that extends out the drip line to protect soil moisture and reduce weed invasion.


Things You Will Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • Shovel
  • Water

About the Author


Writing professionally since 2004, Charmayne Smith focuses on corporate materials such as training manuals, business plans, grant applications and technical manuals. Smith's articles have appeared in the "Houston Chronicle" and on various websites, drawing on her extensive experience in corporate management and property/casualty insurance.