Photo by Missouri Botanical Garden
Among evergreens native to North America, juniper is the most neglected by gardeners. Juniper grows wild almost everywhere, proving it is hardy and adaptable. However, almost everywhere it is a straggly tree, dull green in summer, dull gray in winter. At some nurseries, however, there are handsome selections. For example, ‘Hillspire,’ which is broad and dense.
Another good (actually, great) selection is ‘Taylor,’ from the Nebraska Arboretum. It’s so dense and uniformly columnar that you might have trouble believing it is a juniper. Here’s a photo of several in a row, looking like an ideal privacy screen.
There are many species of juniper, and some selections. In North America the most common is Juniperus virginiana or Eastern Red Cedar. Then there’s the Rocky Mountain Juniper (Juniperus scopolorum), which likes dry conditions and often has a blue tint.
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