Juniperus chinensis 'Spartan'

Common Name: Chinese juniper
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Cupressaceae
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 15.00 to 20.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Air Pollution

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerant of a wide variety of soils including clay. Intolerant of wet soils. Tolerant of some drought once established. Also tolerant of many city air pollutants.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Chinese juniper is a dioecious evergreen conifer that is native to China, Japan, Mongolia and the Himalayas. It is usually seen in the wild as a conical tree to 50’ tall and 20’ wide, but also appears in much shorter shrubby or spreading forms. Foliage is dark green. Brown bark on mature stems peels in strips. Although species plants are rarely sold in commerce, a large number of cultivated varieties ranging in size from large trees to large/small shrubs to low-growing groundcovers have become popular ornamental landscape plants. Chinese juniper leaves come in two types: scale-like (adult) and awl/needle-like (juvenile). Cones (pollen and seed bearing) appear on different plants. Male plants produce catkin-like pollen cones. Female plants produce fleshy, berry-like, whitish-blue seed cones that usually acquire violet-brown tones as they mature over two years. 'Spartan' is a narrow pyramidal to columnar tree that grows to 15-20' tall but spreads to only 5' wide. Dark green foliage is primarily scale-like. Foliage is attractive throughout the year.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Junipers are generally susceptible to tip and needle blights. Cedar-apple rust and related rust diseases spend part of their life cycle on junipers. Root rot may occur, particularly in wet, poorly drained soils. Canker may attack bark or main stems. Occasional insect pests include aphids, bagworms, webworms and scale.

Garden Uses

Evergreen foliage provides good winter interest. Narrow landscape tree. Screens. Windbreaks. Spiraled topiary.