Juniperus scopulorum 'Wichita Blue'
Common Name: Rocky Mountain juniper 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Cupressaceae
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 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


Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Adapts to a wide range of soils. Performs well in dryish, sandy soils with good drainage. This tree of western North America is generally intolerant of the hot and humid growing conditions of the deep South. Intolerant of wet soils.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Juniperus scopulorum, commonly called Rocky Mountain juniper or Colorado red cedar, is native to the Rocky Mountains from Alberta to Texas and in other mountainous areas from British Columbia south to Arizona. In the Rockies, it is typically found in dry, rocky, foothills above 5000 feet in elevation. This is a broad pyramidal tree with shedding red-brown bark that grows to 50’ tall and 20’ wide in its native habitat. It is similar in appearance to eastern red cedar (J. virginiana) and may hybridize with it if grown in the same area. Light blue-green to dark green scale like foliage lies flat against the branches.

Genus name comes from the Latin name for the juniper.

Specific epithet comes from the Latin word meaning “of cliffs or rocks” in reference to the mountainous habit of the species.

‘Wichita Blue’ is a compact, conical, male form that grows slowly (6-12” per year) to 10-15’ tall, but may eventually reach 15-30’ tall. As the cultivar name suggests, it is noted for its blue or blue-gray foliage that retains good color all year.


No serious insect or disease problems. Junipers are generally susceptible to blights (dieback of stem tips), particularly in unusually rainy/wet springs. Phomopsis twig blight is of particular concern. Cedar-apple and related rust diseases spend part of their life cycle on junipers. Root rot may occur, particularly in wet, poorly drained soils. Occasional insect pests include aphids, bagworms, twig borers, webworms and scale. Watch for spider mites.


Small landscape tree. Screen. Backgrounds.