The Q&A Archives: Maintaining Juniper's size...

Question: I would like to plant either a Hetzi Columnar Juniper or a Wichata blue juniper on either end of my garage along with other shrubs in between. My concern is mostly with the mature height of a shrub. I do not want to exceed 10ft.tall(I would prefer to maintain about 7 to 8ft.). Of these two junipers,the Wichata appears to mature at about 12ft., but could get bigger with age. The Hetz Columnar, on the other hand, gets anywhere from 15ft.-25ft. I really like the look of both, but I am wondering which one would respond better to pruning to reatain the desired height. As far as width, suitable. Could you please advise?

Answer: Unfortunately, junipers do not take that well to pruning. Besides require constant attention, they will eventually deteriorate and need to be replaced. Perhaps you would be better off in the long run using a plant that tolerates pruning well and can be kept at the size and shape you require. An upright yew for instance can be clipped and pruned successfully over a long period of time. Your local professional nursery staff may have other suggestions based on a more detailed understanding of the growing conditions where you want to plant and your overall design goals. I'm sorry I can't be more encouraging about the yews.

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