How Long Do Juniper Trees Live?
It’s amazing to know how these trees can live for more than a hundred years!
Are you looking for a good shrub for your yard or garden? If yes, look no further. We have the perfect pick for you – Juniper. It is a popular, ornamental garden plant known for its ability to grow in almost every region, four-season interest, and carefree nature.
But, before you add them to your landscape, remember that how long do juniper trees live typically depends on the variety you grow, the care you exert, and the location. While a few of them live only a few decades, most of them make it to several centuries. It is true that some Junipers have survived 1000s of years.
Belonging to the Juniperus genus, you can find them in several forms, with shapes. But broadly, it is a coniferous, evergreen plant with scaly leaves. Its presentation and height may vary among different varieties, ranging from towering trees about 130 feet tall to ground-hugging Juniper bushes only six inches high.
There is also a variety of colors in these trees, from shimmering gold to steely blue. Hence, there is a juniper to suit every landscape. From working as a privacy hedge to helping cover the slope for soil erosion, there is one that fits the bill.
In This Article:
- Are Junipers The Oldest Living Trees?
- How Long Do Junipers Live?
- Variety Specific Lifespan
- How Do You Know When A Juniper Is Dying?
- How Do I Bring My Junipers Back To Life?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Word
Are Junipers The Oldest Living Trees?
Some junipers have a long lifespan, making them one of the oldest living trees. One such plant is the Bennett Juniper or the Western Juniper in Toulumne Country, near the Middle Fork of the Stanislaus. Studies suggest that it is between 2000 and 6000 years old, and some botanists even consider it the oldest living tree on this planet.
What Is The Juniper Tree Lifespan?
Some Juniper varieties like the trout man juniper and the sea green juniper, usually lives up to three decades. These are the more commonly found Junipers in every neighborhood. But, that is not the average Juniper lifespan.
There are some Junipers with long life like the Rocky Mountain juniper. On average, they can live for about three centuries. Surprisingly, some other Juniper varieties live even longer than that.
Botanists suggest that some specific types live between hundreds to thousands of years. But, reports by the National Park Service classify the average age of juniper trees as 350-700 years.
Below, we will discuss the lifespan of five of the most popular Junipers.
How Long Do Juniper Trees Live That Belong To Different Varieties?
1. Blue Point Juniper
Favorite for the tall screens and the stately lawn specimens, the Blue Point Juniper is a uniform-growing, conical, but dwarf Juniper. This Chinese Juniper is renowned for its blue-green foliage, broad pyramid form, and dense branching and lives for around three decades.
Blue Point is a low-maintenance variety that can maintain its beautiful, natural form sans any pruning. It is one of the most vastly found varieties, and you can spot it in every landscape. A mature specimen, after a decade, will be 4.5 feet tall and 2/3rd as wide. Blue point juniper has a growth rate between four and six inches.
2. Spartan Juniper
Spartan juniper is a fast-growing, low-maintenance, hardy, and handsome evergreen tree. It develops a pyramidal shape with a densely branched column and dark-green hue around the year. Its height is about fifteen feet with three to five feet spread, making it ideal for use as a windbreak, screen, or formal accent.
Given its narrow spread, you can also plant them in compact spaces. Like the Blue Point Juniper, even Spartan does not need heavy pruning and can maintain its natural form, even sans it. It tolerates drought, cold, heat, and lives for approximately thirty years.
3. Taylor Juniper
Juniperus virginiana Taylor or the Taylor Juniper has a narrow columnar form and semi-soft blue-green foliage, which give an elegant and refined form to this narrow variety of the eastern red cedar. Taylor junipers usually grow between fifteen to twenty feet tall and has a spread of five feet
Taylor juniper tree lifespan is around seven decades. Like its other counterparts, even the Taylor Juniper does an excellent job maintaining its upright, dense form. The plant has a scale-like silvery-blue green foliage and can be a suitable addition to the landscape as an entryway accent or privacy screen. The Taylor Juniper can add a dramatic vertical element to the landscape regardless of where you plant it.
4. Skyrocket Juniper
Juniperus scopulorum Skyrocket or the Skyrocket Juniper is a columnar, narrow, evergreen tree with a fast growth rate. It is a female, conical selection of the Western Juniper or the Rocky Mountain Juniper with bluish-green, scented foliage with scale-like textures.
Their physical appeal is much like the Blue Point Junipers, but their growth rate is relatively faster, approximately two feet per year. The Skyrocket Juniper creates blueberry crops, famous as the winter forage for the birds. If provided with the proper care and nourishment, the Skyrocket Juniper can reach its 30 feet mature eight and 8 feet mature vastness in no time.
Their vast spread also makes them the narrowest Juniper identified by the botanists. It is a slow-growing tree that takes five decades to attain maturity and live for 70+ years.
5. Alligator Juniper
Native to the southern United States, western Texas, and Mexico, the young Alligator Juniper has ghostly, silvery-blue foliage. Distinguished by its unique cracked bark that appears like Alligator’s skin, the Alligator Juniper is a medium-sized, slow-growing tree that develops giant trunks in no time.
It is one of the largest juniper tree species and is planted or seeded in the fall or spring. In an ideal environment, how long do juniper trees live? It can grow about sixty feet tall if provided with the necessary care and nourishment. Many botanists believe that these are the trees that last for lifetimes and mostly live between 500 and 800 years. However, some of them have even survived for over 1400 years.
How Do You Know When Juniper Is Dying?
We know that how long do junipers live. It’s is sometimes more than a few hundred years. So, if you observe these giveaway signs of a dying tree before your slow growing Juniper tree completes its full lifecycle, take quick remedial actions.
- Off-season leaf or needle shedding
- Swollen Bark
- Wilted or drooping branches
- Ragged leaf edges
- Spots on the leaf
- Yellowing or wilting leaves
- Wiggling tree
However, though these may look scary, you must confirm whether your Juniper is dying. Here are three tests that can help:
1. Snap-scratch test
Take a twig from any end of the tree, and curve it backward. When it bends and depicts moistness within, your plant is still alive. On the contrary, if it is dead, the branch will detach cleanly sans any pressure and seem dry from the inside.
2. Assess the roots’ color
If the plant is healthy, it will have firm and white roots. But, if the plant is unhealthy/dead, the roots are rotten and have a mushy or discolored section. It may be because of overwatering. However, if you are still unsure whether your Juniper is living or dead, you can examine the root’s color from the inside. You can apply a few tricks to save your tree if it is white.
3. Fingernail test
Take a pocket knife or use your fingernail and scrape a tiny bark from the trunk gently. If the tree is alive, the trunk will look green from the inside. However, its dark or grey indicates a suffering or dead tree.
How Do I Bring My Junipers Back To Life?
If your juniper tree’s lifespan is not complete, yet it shows signs of dying, here is a six-step guide to revive it. But, understand that if the tree is not doing well from the inside, it won’t survive:
- Take old pruning shears, and sharpen them to prevent tearing your brittle Juniper tree. You can add two drops of mineral or machine oil to the sharpening stone and slowly draw the blades on the shears across the stone body. Repeat the process at least 10-12 times.
- Before you start shaping the Juniper, prune all the dead tips and those infected with fungi right below the canker. Prune the diseased tips only during dry weather.
- Next, clean your pruning shears, especially if you prune the fungi-affected tip. It helps prevent the spreading of infection or diseases to other trees. You can use rubbing alcohol or a 10 percent household bleach solution. Sanitize the blades after you finish.
- Take 1/4th to 1/3rd of the long leggy branches where they extend beyond the tree’s crown. Be careful while you cut. Do not chop the wood without the leaves. Instead, prune where the side branches can hide the cut. Try to angle your cut. It helps the dew and rain runoff not settle on the wound.
- Trim the shrubs’ top to ensure the sunlight reaches the base. Excessive shade on the base can also cause the tree to die.
- Complete the pruning tasks by the rainy season. If you prune late in the fall, it might trigger new growth, which may be susceptible to fungal infections.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ques 1. How old is the oldest juniper tree?
Ans. The oldest juniper tree lifespan is between 2,000 – 6,000 years.
Ques 2. How long do juniper bonsai trees live?
Ans. The Juniper bonsai can live for up to a century.
Ques 3. Will Juniper grow back from the stump?
Ans. Junipers are evergreen bushes and need their branches or roots to survive. Hence, they will not grow back if you cut them with stumps and branches.
Ques 4. Why do juniper trees twist?
Ans. This is actually an interesting fact. The Juniper Trees respond to Vortex Energy, revealing where the energy is the maximum. The stronger the force, the greater the Juniper trees’ axial twist in the branches, resulting in their unique shape.
Long story short – Junipers are beautiful trees, capable of withstanding even the harshest environmental conditions. They can sustain extreme sunlight, high winds, freezing, cold temperatures, and heat and are drought-tolerant. Moreover, knowing how long do juniper trees live, you can plant them once and just forget it for a hundred years. Thus, there is no reason not to include this beautiful, aromatic tree in your landscape.