Canaertii JuniperJuniperus virginiana 'Canaertii'
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Juniperus virginiana 'Canaertii'
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Canaertii Juniper is a tree that grows to 20 feet, and ultimately to 40 feet, beginning with an upright, conical form, and maturing to a more angular, spreading tree of striking beauty. It has rich green foliage that usually stays bright and fresh all winter. It is decorated with a big harvest of berries, colored cobalt-blue, purple and violet, with a gray bloom. These are very showy against the green leaves and make this tree an attractive garden feature. Use it as a specimen anywhere in the garden, or in a row as a screening tree.
Grow the Canaertii Juniper in full sun or some partial shade. It literally grows anywhere in the country, tolerating all kinds of soils, from rock to clay, in almost every zone. It is free of pests or diseases, and it is ignored by deer and rabbits. It needs no trimming, and this tree combines outstanding garden features with incredibly low maintenance requirements.
When admiring – and planting – all the beautiful blue, silver or gold evergreens available, there is always a danger of over- doing it. That is, of not putting enough green in your garden. That’s right, green is a color too, and an important one in gardens, because it provides the calm background for the colorful action of more showy plants. This is especially true when planting evergreens, because there are so many with colored foliage. All this makes the Canaertii Juniper a valuable (and beautiful) tree, because its foliage is a rich true-green, free of gold, blue or silver overtones. Gazing at one is a very satisfying experience, soaking up all that calming green. This bush doesn’t stop there though, because it brightens that green with a big annual crop of berries, which vary in color from cobalt-blue to purple and violet, with a beautiful dusting of light-gray powder to enhance their coloring. This is a relatively large tree which begins life as a slender column, and then matures to an interesting angular tree of stature and rugged beauty.
The Canaertii Juniper is a columnar to spreading tree, reaching about 20 feet within 15 years, and maturing to 40 feet or even more. When young it will be no more than 6 feet wide, but it will in time, untrimmed, spread to 15 feet or so across. It has strong upright branches and a central trunk, and when mature – or if pruned up earlier – it has a very attractive trunk, with deep vertical fluting, a flaring base, and peeling bark in strong colors of reddish-brown. Young trees have a tight, conical form, but as the tree develops and matures it begins to spread outwards, growing in time into a fascinating irregular tree with spreading branches.
The leaves of this tree are very small, like flat scales that cling to the smaller branches, forming dense clusters. This is the ‘adult’ foliage of Juniper trees, and it is soft to the touch and quite different from the spikey ‘juvenile’ foliage found on many other junipers. The color of the needles is a bright, rich green all year round, holding well in winter in all but the coldest zones, where it may sometimes take on some brown shades for a few months. The foliage and wood have an attractive, pungent ‘cedar’ smell when crushed.
This is a female tree (Junipers have separate male and female trees) and it is outstanding for the reliable and heavy crops of juniper berries it carries from a relatively early age. In early summer these are green, but they soon become colorful, taking on many shades of bright blue, purple and violet, dusted with a ‘bloom’ of soft blue-gray, like plums are. They really show well against the dark green of the foliage and make an outstanding and special garden feature of this tree. These are not the berries used for cooking and flavoring gin, and they will be taken by birds in winter as a valuable food. To be sure of a big berry display, we recommend planting a Hillspire Juniper in your garden as well, as this male tree will provide plenty of pollen for your Canaertii Juniper.
The Canaertii Juniper is an excellent specimen tree to use anywhere in your garden. Plant it on a lawn, or at the back of beds, or plant a row as a screen. Grow it on slopes and rocky ground, and in dry, sun-drenched places. When choosing a spot allow for its future large size, and don’t plant beneath power lines or too close to a house or boundary. This tree is a good garden choice almost everywhere, including coastal and seaside gardens. A native tree, it is also a good choice for natural and wild gardens.
The Canaertii Juniper is extremely cold resistant, growing easily in zone 3 and perhaps in zone 2 as well. Yet it grows perfectly in hot zones, all the way into zone 9. Except for southern Florida and the coastal areas of southern California, this truly is a tree that can be grown anywhere in the country.
Plant the Canaertii Juniper in full sun. It will also tolerate a little light partial shade, but not very much. It will grow in almost any type of soil, as long as it is well-drained. Alkaline soils, clay, sand and gravel – these are all suitable conditions. Don’t plant in areas that are always wet. Once established it is very drought resistant, and normally never needs watering, even during long periods of hot, dry weather. It is also resistant to salt spray, from either oceans or winter roads.
During the first couple of years, water regularly during warmer months, and deeply in late fall. After that this tree is effectively maintenance-free and needs no special attention. Once it has begun to grow out, check that it just has one central shoot growing up. If not, remove any weaker ones, as a single central trunk is best for the look and durability of this tree. The tree is free of pests or diseases, and both deer and rabbits leave it alone.
It can be trimmed if you want, but for that look you might want to choose another green-leaf Juniper, perhaps an Emerald Feather™ Juniper or a Spartan Juniper, as much of the beauty of the Canaertii Juniper is in its natural form, berry crops and ultimate angular growth – and you will diminish all of these by trimming.
The native American tree Juniperus virginiana is often also called Red Cedar, although it is not truly a cedar tree. It has a wide distribution across the east, all the way from Canada down to Florida and around the Gulf of Mexico. It also grows west to the Great Plains. It is usually found growing in open ground, in rocky areas and abandoned fields. The variety called ‘Canaertii’, with its unique features, was named after the Belgian horticulturist Frederic Canaert d’Hamale, and discovered sometime before 1868. It is not clear if Canaert actually discovered it, perhaps as a seedling, or someone else.
There can be a certain ‘sameness’ about some evergreens, but not this one. The Canaertii Juniper has outstanding garden value, and considering how tough and durable it is, it deserves to be grown much more widely. Take this chance to grow an easy and unique tree, but our stock is very limited, so order right away.