Common Juniper

Common Juniper Juniperus communisIn Iowa the common juniper (Juniperus communis) is often only a large, bushy shrub, seldom reaching tree size. It has a short, irregular trunk.

Habitat: Grows on dry wooded bluffs and rocky slopes. Found in extreme northeast Iowa.

Hardiness: Zones 2 through 9

two common juniper trees
Common Juniper Trees - Photo by Robert Videki, Doronicum Kft.,

Mature Shape: Upright, densely pyramidal becoming irregular and pendulous with age

Height: 30-40 feet

Width: 10-20 feet

Site Requirements: Prefers full sun and well drained soils. Is tolerant of a variety of conditions including poor soils, heat and drought.

Flowering Dates: April - May

Seed Dispersal Dates: Seeds persist for 2 years

Seed Bearing Age: 10 years

Seed Bearing Frequency: Irregular

Seed Stratification: Prechill for 3 months at 34°F to 40°F

The awl-shaped, leaves are spreading, spiny and scale-like and 1/3 to 1/2 inch long. They are more flattened and white on the upper surface than the red cedar and turn a rich bronze color during the winter. The bluish or purple fruit is an irregular, ball-shaped berry, with one to three small hard seeds. The bark is reddish brown and becomes papery scaled.

Diseases that Can Affect Common Juniper

Insects that Can Affect Common Juniper

common juniper tree
Common Juniper Tree - Photo by Gil Wojciech, Polish Research Institute, Bugwood.rog

common juniper twig with needles and berries
Common Juniper Twig and Leaves, Photo by Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte,

blue gray common juniper berries
Common Juniper Fruit - Photo by Piero Amorati-Casalecchio di Reno,