Are there Juniper shrubs that grow pretty fast?

bonnieblueyesJanuary 23, 2008

Hi everyone. Im new to this forum and i have a question or two. Hope i dont sound to dumb. LOl...We may be moving soon and i have an old blue juniper that i love and hate to leave. It has blue needles and little blue berries. Its more a bush than a tree, wide not tall at about 4-5 ft. The other property is a new construction with nothing. I really love evergreens and especially junipers of blue or yellow coloration's but i would need something that might grow fast. Are there any like that? I also would love to have evergreen trees as privacy screen between us and another house. I love Hemlocks but have heard they get attacked by parasites. I love their soft needles. I thought maybe pine trees but they also get attacked by parasites and are not very full looking. I would like something that is more thick and less easy to look through. Hope that doesnt sound to dumb but i have tried to look at stuff on the web and i just cant tell by reading their information. So i would be very appreciative of any recommendations on the privacy screen and nice shrub junipers. I really love the look of Weeping Alaskan Cedar but have no idea if they could make it here and work close together as a screen. The property was a deciduous forest with some cleared to put the house so i heard the soil is acidic but i need to test it to make sure. I love hollies too but im scared of the real prickly ones and wouldn't want that. Thanks so much for listening to me ramble i just want to make good decisions and not mess up. I thought it best to seek your advice and knowledge.

Bonnie------Southern Middle Tennessee - zone 7 - clay soil

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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

There are some fine folks from Tennessee who frequent this forum and I'm sure they will give you some specifics. In the mean time, have you been to the American Conifer Society's website? A lot of info to be had there. You are right to shy away from hemlocks but don't give up on pines. Not all succumb to the pests in your area.


Here is a link that might be useful: ACS

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 6:33PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hi bonnie ....

a number of thoughts .... take them for what you paid for them .. lol ...

IMHO ... all junipers grow fast ... but you have to define fast .... ergo the referral to the ACS site should help you learn about that... its all about the annual growth rates ... and there are a couple good tutorials there ...

second ... i think you are way ahead of the ball here .... how about you get into the new house... and get that all settled ... and then start worrying about blocking out the neighbors ... i moved to this house 8 years ago .. frankly ... of all the stuff i tried to accomplish that first summer... i would guess half of it has been removed .... i tried to jam in a plan ... not really knowing where i was going... things that i planned and planted a year or two later... did much better.. because i was better able to delineate the variables and make a better plan .... does that make sense???

next... about half of all junipers are blue with blue berries .... so we are not going to be able to ID your plant... they are very cheap .... and grow like weeds, once fully established .... i wouldnt waste too much time or effort in saving the one you have ...

IMHO ... no other tree has the problems like hemlocks... if you are in the affected area .. which is most of the east coast .. and it is spreading inland .... if i knew how to spell wholly adgelid i would have you google it... perhaps that slaughtering of how its spelled is good enough for google.. lol ...

all plants/trees/conifers have bug issues .... but that is NOT a reason to skip them .... the hemlock issue is over the top ... the rest are NOT .... except perhaps.. borers on ash ....

anyway .... my best advice .... get into the house... hit a couple of the bargain stores.. wallyworld. lowes ... bigboxstore .... buy a couple things ... and plant them.. and see how they do in your new yard .... and sit on the back porch during the summer... and start thinking about a grand plan... where you are.. and where you want to go ... regarding the garden .... most gardeners are not type A .... lol .... at least in the design phase .... .. but once a plan is hatched... watch out... when the work comes.... they are type A ... lol ...

good luck ..


    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 9:00AM
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Thank you so much Ken and tj. I love plants and wildflowers and all that but i have just discovered how much conifers can transform your landscape and they are soooo beautiful. I just dont know anything about them like i do other plants. I will really miss my hours of watching little birdies fight over the blue juniper with its little frosty blue berries. LOL...I was hoping to find a juniper that will mature in less than 2-4 years? Is that to much to hope for? I have heard that most conifers grow very slowly and it might take 10yrs to have a medium sized one much less a full grown one. I know it sounds crazy to move straight to a house and want to block out the neighbors i have never even met but im constantly outside digging and planting stuff and have had problems with neighbors wanting to talk Alot (every time they see me outside we love to gab) and that keeps me from my plant addiction! LOL....So i was hoping to discourage too much talking with maybe some lovely conifers and then all my little flowers will get weeded and watered on time and i wont have to bake in the sun any longer than i have to. I thought since conifers grow slow that i should get them started immediately. Did i mention that im digging up all my hundreds of flowers and shrubs from the old house and taking them to the new one? The new buyer said i could as long as i fill up all the holes and put grass seed. He just likes grass. This moving has my nerves tore up! LOL...Hope i dont move again for a long long time.
Ken you do make perfect sense and i have taken all your advice to heart. I know you are right and that i need to watch the land and see what would be best. Its just hard not to jump right in and over do. I can tell you understand.

tj i went to the ACS site but it was a little hard to maneuver because im not to sure what to be looking for right up front. Does that make sense? They certainly had some beautiful photos though. Im going to go back again and try to see were i should look first and see if i can find some answers to my questions. Thank you both again for your thoughtful responses to my weird questions. LOL....The only blue junipers i find at the stores are the creeping junipers. Which are nice but i want a bushy one like im use to.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 7:17PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Well Bonnie, it just so happens I'll be in Nashville on business next week. If I get a chance, I'll check out what's growing well in that area to see if I can give you more specifics. In the mean time, I'm sure your local nurseries carry more than just low growing blue Junipers. The tallers ones are pretty much ubiquitous throughout the country. On the ACS site look for Juniperus chinensis, scopulorum and virginiana to start with.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 9:57PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

go to the ACS ....

enter.. look for the MAIN MENU on the left .... hit CONIFER INTRODUCTION ... go there ... i will try to link below ..

and let me disabuse you of slow growth.. i have pinus strobus ... from wallyworld no less .. doing 3 to 5 feet per year .... more like telephone poles than a screen though .... they all grow as fast as they will grow.. once they get some roots down .... you just have some lerning to do ....

good luck


Here is a link that might be useful: link to intro?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 3:53PM
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Thank you Ken the Introduction to conifers was very enlightening. I didn't know that some can grow 12 inches a year.
Thank you tj for the names i need to look for. Going to a new site is like going to a new store. Sometimes in a new store it might be really hard to find bread or cereal but once you've been there a few times you learn your way around. LOL....Thanks for showing me this website.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 6:54PM
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midtn(7a TN)

Here is a good thread. There are plenty of pine, holly, and magnolia options. Personally I like conifers better than broadleaf evergreens. Options include Norway spruce, Nordmann fir, Oriental Spruce, Cypress (Cuppressus), Cryptomeria, Arborvitae, true cedars (Cedrus) and lots of pines (Pinus). I would not discount hemlock. The pest you speak of has not made its way west of the Appalachians so you may be OK where you are. They are one of my favorites. The hardiest Cedrus Deodara varieties may be a good sub for hemlock.

I am in Nashville shoot me an email if you like.

Here is a link that might be useful: heat tolerant conifers

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 12:49PM
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smalljaw(z 6b mid TN)

Bonnie ,
Cham. noot. should perform well . I am in the central basin on top of a ridge with hampshire/bodine soils , blessed with super drainage cushy soil . Sun - airflow - protect from harsh winter winds to an extent . Ahh... the gift of gab , plant some cupressus in full nasty hot sun to quickly suppress conversation . 'Blue Ice' grows fast and looks great with 'Limelight' . There is an ACS rendezvous in Dayton , TN on March 30 at noon . You should check it out . laytah

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 8:09PM
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