Juniper tree facts

Written by carly reynolds
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Juniper tree facts
The juniper tree is an evergreen. (Utah Juniper image by Carol Hyman from Fotolia.com)

The juniper tree is a type of cedar that is widely used for a variety of purposes. Unlike many types of cedar, the juniper tree is an evergreen. Once this tree is well established, it is extremely tolerant of drought and thrives in all areas. This tree can easily be identified by the many small blue berries it produces.

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About the Juniper

The juniper tree features many stems adorned with dark green, sawtooth leaves. The juniper provides a fragrance much like that of the cedar tree and a blue fruit loved by wildlife. This evergreen tree looks great year-round. The foliage of the juniper tree is dense and grown for ornamental uses. If left untrimmed, these trees form the shape of a pyramid.

Growth

The juniper tree is capable of growing up to 38 feet high by 30 feet wide and enjoys areas with partial sun. The juniper is often used as a small tree or as a shrub. The dense foliage and tasty fruit of this tree makes it a favourable nesting place for local wildlife.

Location

This beautiful tree prefers rocky, limestone, alkaline soils in the partial sun. Juniper has a USDA Hardiness Zone of 6 and is tolerant of warm climates. The juniper requires little water to thrive. This tree prefers soils with a pH of between 6 and 8 but does tolerate some salt in the soil.

Fruit

Many animals love eating the large, blueberry-like cones provided by the juniper tree. These fruits bloom in the spring. During the blooming period, the juniper tree produces a pollen that some people have an allergic reaction to. Some varieties of juniper, such as the Christmas Berry Juniper (juniperus pinchotii), bear red fruits instead of blue ones.

Uses

In addition to being used for ornamental purposes, the juniper tree has a variety of other uses. The trunk of the tree is cultivated and used to make fence posts, cedar furniture, pencils and some types of medicine. The fruit provided by this tree is commonly used in alcoholic products. Different parts of the juniper have also been used for treatment of cancer, colds, coughs, diarrhoea, bleeding, fevers, pneumonia and topical pain management. The juniper tree contains pinene, which is commonly used as an antibiotic.

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