Hollywood Juniper is a large shrub or a small tree that is known for its rustic and artistic appearance and unusually twisted and upright branches. Caring for it can be a real challenge. Gardenerdy tells you how to care for your Hollywood Juniper tree. Read on!
Did You Know?
Hollywood Juniper tree was named so because it is found almost everywhere in the city of Los Angeles in California.
Hollywood Juniper is a coniferous and evergreen shrub that is known for its natural twists and upright spiral branches, which is where its beauty lies. It is also known as Juniperus chinensis ‘Torulosa’ and Juniperus chinensis ‘Kaizuka’. It can easily be identified by its unique branches and sharp needles which grow in clusters. The color of these needles range from blue-green to grayish-green, and provide aesthetic pleasure and are a striking contrast to the background of green foliage. It is known for its toughness and durability, and can survive in, both, the hottest of summers as well as the coldest of winters. They are also kept as bonsai trees, indoors.
Before moving on to the tips to care for this tree, let us first know about Hollywood Juniper in brief.
Characteristics of Hollywood Juniper Tree
Common Name: Hollywood Juniper
Botanical Name: Juniperus chinensis Torulosa/ Kaizuka
Origin: Japan/ California
Plant type: Conifer
Growth Rate: Moderate to fast
Height: 12 – 15 feet tall
Spread:6 – 8 feet wide
Blooms: Does not flower
Attributes: Fragrant, Pine
► Hollywood Juniper thrives in full sun and grows best in well-drained soil.
► It requires minimal water and attention because of its drought-tolerant nature.
► It is suitable for coastal regions because of its tolerance for salt and wind.
► It grows best in zones 5 – 9.
► The growth rate is medium to fast, wherein the medium growth rate records a growth of up to 14 – 24 inches per year and up to 25 inches for a fast growth rate.
Tips to Take Care of Hollywood Juniper Tree
► Ideally, this plant should be planted in areas having full sunlight, although, it can tolerate a bit of shade too. Make sure you don’t plant it under eaves where snow from the roof may land. Select some open space for your plant, and make sure it receives direct sunlight for the best growth and needle color. You can use it as a hedge for privacy and windbreak as well. It also grows well in coastal areas that have high salt content because of its tolerance for salt levels.
► They adapt to all kinds of soils except heavy and wet soils. They grow well in soils that are well drained preferably on a drier side. Mulching is recommended, and the soil should be average to slightly acidic. Put half-inch layer of compost or slow-acting fertilizers into the soil every spring in the first 2 – 3 growing seasons.
► Water your juniper regularly during the first growing season for the plant to establish a deep and spacious root system. After roots are established, watering can be reduced to minimal. Make sure you don’t plant your juniper next to a water source such as sprinklers or streams lest you end up with a juniper from Addams Family. The needles tend to turn brown and may drop off, if left in standing water.
► Remove the branches that are broken or damaged in early spring without harming the juniper. The plant will produce new ones and responds well to light pruning if you want to keep it smaller. The branches that may be interfering with other branches, or the ones that are getting nearer the roof or pathways may also be removed.
► Pruning should usually be done on young trees and in moderation as the plant may not recover from it easily. So, make sure you don’t over-prune it. It may get a bit difficult to cut or trim the tree as the tree ages. It may not respond well if you transplant, so make sure you plant it exactly where you want it to remain.
► This plant attracts birds that enjoy nesting on its branches and feasting on its blue berries in winter. It is deer-resistant as well, but deer do feed on it when food is scarce which may cause severe damage to the tree. To avoid this, junipers can be fenced during fall and winter which is when they are most vulnerable.
► It is susceptible to a rust disease called Gymnosporangium, which is a type of fungus common in apple trees. Take care not to plant it near apple trees. These junipers can also be harmed by worms and caterpillars, especially, the juniper web worm which tends to make webs in the branches and feed on them heavily during late spring.
► Remove the weeds from around the junipers, or apply a layer of mulch to avoid the growth of weeds.
Hollywood Juniper tree, if cared for properly, may grow at least a foot every year. It may, however, vary depending on species and cultivator. It is an interesting shrub that adds to the beauty of your garden and stands out in the ocean of other plant species. It may fit well in any corner of your garden. Moreover, it is not too demanding! Happy Gardening!