The Tree Center

Emerald Sentinel™ Juniper

Juniperus virginiana ‘Corcorcor'

How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me

The Emerald Sentinel™ Juniper will reach 15 feet within 10 years, but be just 5 feet wide, with a dense, upright conical form. Its fluffy foliage is bright emerald-green, darkening in summer, but never becoming bluish or silvered. It grows well everywhere, and it is the perfect plant for low-maintenance and ‘water-wise’ gardens, as well as a natural for native and wild gardens. Yet it can be trimmed into formal shapes, from columns to poodles, and made into a dense hedge or screen. After a few years, plants begin to produce big crops of blue berries covered with a whitish coating, and these are very attractive against the green leaves.

  • Dense, upright evergreen tree
  • Bright emerald-green foliage
  • Big crop of blue berries on established plants
  • Perfect for ‘water-wise’ gardening
  • Grows well everywhere in the country

The Emerald Sentinel™ Juniper will grow best in full sun, but it tolerates a little partial shade as well. It grows in any well-drained soil, acid or alkaline and sand or clay. It grows in shallow rocky soils too, and it tolerates salt-spray, so it’s a natural for a beach cottage. It is hardy everywhere except zone 10, and no significant pests or diseases are seen on it. Deer and rabbits leave it alone too. This is a very, very easy bush to grow almost anywhere.

Plant Hardiness Zones 3-9
Mature Width 4-10
Mature Height 12-25
Soil Conditions Well-Drained Soil
Sunlight Full Sun to Light Shade
Drought Tolerance Very Drought Resistant
Zones 3-9

If you are looking for a tough plant, you have come to the right place. The Emerald Sentinel™ Juniper really is one of the toughest garden plants available, and it literally grows anywhere in the country, from California, to the New York Island. Whether you garden in New England or New Mexico, this trouble-free plant will grow easily for you. It is incredibly drought resistant, free of problems, ignored by deer, and generally as tough as a plant can get. It is also a fast-growing, handsome, upright evergreen, with bright, emerald-green foliage that stays that way through thick and thin, and it will be decorated with crops of blue berries. If you want an upright, narrow plant for an accent or to make a durable hedge, then this tree is going to be the most obvious and reliable choice you can make. Did we mention it is really tough? Well it is.

Growing the Emerald Sentinel™ Juniper

Size and Appearance

The Emerald Sentinel Juniper is a fast-growing evergreen. Within 10 years it will be 15 feet tall and 5 feet wide, and it will continue to grow taller and a little wider each year. If trimmed it can easily be kept to 6 feet or so, or pretty much any size, adding just an inch or so a year. It has a naturally dense, conical form, and it stays neat even if you don’t trim it at all. Older plants will become more open and tree-like in time, with a short trunk with vertical fluting, and attractive red-brown peeling bark.

The foliage is mostly of the ‘juvenile’ kind, which means the tiny leaves are short pointed triangles, jutting from the branches at an angle, giving a feathery look and a slightly rough texture to the plant. With age more of the branches will develop ‘adult’ foliage, which is softer, with the leaves like tiny scales clinging flat to the branches. The tree has very dense foliage, much denser than just about any other variety of Juniper, even when untrimmed. The leaves are a bright emerald-green in spring, darkening in summer but keeping their clean green color, free of any bluing or graying. The foliage has a beautiful smell when crushed, giving off an intense ‘cedar’ fragrance.

Once your plant is more than 5 years old it will begin to produce berries. These are green at first, but by late summer they will become deep blue, with a powdery, near-white coating. They are very attractive, in dense bunches, and very showy against the green foliage. By late winter they will have been eaten by wild birds, as a valuable winter food. These are not the edible juniper berries used for cooking and making gin. Untrimmed trees, or those trimmed only every few years, will have the biggest berry crops. To be sure of a big berry display, we recommend planting a Hillspire Juniper or Burkii Juniper in your garden as well, as these male trees will provide plenty of pollen for your Emerald Sentinel Juniper.

Using the Emerald Sentinel™ Juniper in Your Garden

The Emerald Sentinel™ Juniper is a great choice for making strong vertical statements in your garden. Plant a pair on either side of a door or gate. Use them to mark the ends of your beds, or the corners of a patio. Grow one against the wall between the windows of your home, or in a blank corner. You can trim it into very tight, neat shapes, which can be either conical, pyramidal or columnar, and create topiary spirals and pom-poms too. Left untrimmed it looks great in a more casual garden, and since it is a native tree it is a great choice for gardens of native plants, wild gardens and for xeric and ‘water-wise’ gardens too. With its high salt-spray resistance it is ideal for coastal gardens and beach cottages as well. For hedges and screens, plant at 3 to 5 feet apart, evenly spaced in a row.

Hardiness

The Emerald Sentinel™ Juniper is hardy all the way from zone 3 to zone 9, so it will grow all across the country, except for southern Florida and coastal southern California.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

Plant the Emerald Sentinel™ Juniper in full sun for the densest growth, but it will grow well in a little partial shade too. This plant grows well in any kind of soil, from shallow rocky soils and gravels to heavy clays, just as long as they are well-drained. Too much water is just about the only thing that will eventually kill it.

Maintenance and Pruning

Give newly-planted trees a weekly soaking during their first season, but after that this tree needs no supplementary watering, even in hot, dry places. Unless you want to trim it there is really no need to give it attention, and pests or diseases almost never bother it. Deer and rabbits leave it alone as well. Trim anytime from late spring to early fall, and through winter in warmer zones. You can trim hard, but always leave a few leaves on the cut branches – bare, leafless branches are unable to re-grow. Regular light trimming is much better than hard cutting back.

History and Origin of the Emerald Sentinel™ Juniper

The Emerald Sentinel Juniper is a form of Eastern Red Cedar, Juniperus virginiana, a native American tree with a large natural range. It can be found in southeastern Canada, and all the way south into northern Florida, and westward to Montana and New Mexico. This tree thrives in difficult areas where other trees can’t establish themselves. In 1967 Clifford D. Corliss spotted an unusual seedling in a crop of red cedars growing at Brothers Nursery Inc., in Ipswich, Massachusetts. He separated it and grew it, soon seeing its great color and very dense growth. He patented it in 1983 (expired PP# 5,041) with the name ‘Corcorcor’. It was trademarked in 2000 by J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. a wholesale tree nursery in Boring Oregon, with the name Emerald Sentinel™.

Buying the Emerald Sentinel™ Juniper at The Tree Center

For tough and trouble-free growing, you simply can’t beat the Emerald Sentinel™ Juniper. You will love its emerald green foliage, contrasting with those blue berries, and its dense, compact foliage that needs no clipping to always look great. Order now, because this plant is always in high demand, but the supply is low, so it sells out very fast.

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Emerald Sentinel™ Juniper

Juniperus virginiana ‘Corcorcor'

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