Just like the ancient Spartans, the Spartan Juniper is a tough, reliable and very hardy evergreen tree. It grows from zone 4 to zone 9 and will even grow in zone 3 with some winter protection, so this tree can be grown right across America. As well, it will grow in all soils, even clay. Very wet soil is not suitable, but all other conditions are tolerated. It will grow best in full sun, making it ideal for exposed sites, but it will also do well in some shade. Once established it is very drought tolerant and even the pollution of cities does not bother this tree. It is also free of pest and diseases and even deer will leave it alone, so the Spartan Juniper is a real survivor in the most difficult of places. It grows rapidly, adding at least a foot a year, and quickly fills out, making a great screen, without growing so large that it needs constant attention. If you have harsh conditions to cope with, then this tree is your best friend.
This Juniper forms an upright tapering column of rich green foliage which is attractive all year round. In warm climates the foliage retains its green color all year round and in cooler regions it turns very attractive bronze or purple shades during winter, returning to green as the warmer weather returns. It always stays dense, even without any clipping.
The Chinese Juniper, Juniperus chinensis, grows in China, Japan, Mongolia and in the Himalaya mountains. In the wild it can reach 50 feet in height and be 20 feet across, but even wild trees vary a lot. The Spartan Juniper is a special selection of this tree which is much narrower and shorter than most wild trees. This unique selection was made in a nursery in California in 1961, with the goal of producing a tree that was smaller and more compact than types that existed at that time. It grows just 15 to 20 feet tall and hardly ever be more than 5 feet wide, so it is an ideal evergreen tree for a smaller garden where other evergreens would become too large. With clipping it can be maintained at a much smaller size. This is a ‘tried and true’ variety that has stood the test of time and proved its value in gardens over and over again.
These Junipers are specially selected plants that must be grown in the correct way to retain their unique characteristics. Our trees are grown the correct way, by grafting carefully chosen stem pieces from plants with the correct habit onto hardy roots. Avoid cheaper seedling trees that will certainly not have the right properties and will only disappoint you. This is especially important when planting screens, where all the trees must be identical and uniform to give the best possible effect.
Hardy in most regions, from zone 4 to zone 9 and thrives in all kinds of soil. It should not be planted in soil that is often wet and if you have those conditions we recommend planting Arborvitae Trees such as Thuja Emerald Green or Thuja Green Giant, which do well in damp soils.
Choose a sunny location for your Spartan Juniper. To plant a screen space the trees 3 feet apart in a row, or for a denser screen plant two rows three feet apart and stagger the plants, allowing 4 feet between the plants. This will produce a very dense screen that will keep wind, snow and animals from your property. Because the Spartan Juniper only grows 5 feet wide it can be used in foundation plantings close to the house and it makes an ideal accent on either side of a doorway or at the corners of the house. Groups of 3, 5 or 7 trees, placed irregularly between 4 and 6 feet apart in the group, make a lovely landscape accent for your property. If you want an even more dramatic vertical accent plant, the Italian Cypress is only 2 or 3 feet wide when mature and makes a very strong accent or a screen for a narrow space.
To plant your Junipers, dig a hole three times the width of the pot and place your tree at the same depth as it was in the pot. Replace most of the soil and water thoroughly. Once the water has drained away replace the rest of the soil. Mulch over the roots will help retain moisture during the early stages of growth. Water your tree once a week during the first season and then only during extended dry spells. Occasional deep watering is much better than frequent light watering and don’t water unless the soil is dry. The Spartan is so tough it actually does not like to be kept wet.
You can just leave your tree to grow naturally into a lovely, dense upright form, or you can clip it into a hedge and shape it as you wish to keep it smaller. When clipping a hedge always keep the top narrower than the bottom to make sure the lower branches continue to grow vigorously and maintain foliage right down to the ground. You can clip your Spartan Juniper at almost any time of year, but avoid periods of hot, dry weather and in colder areas do not clip in late fall or winter.
Our Spartan Junipers are selected to be true to the correct form of this remarkable tree, so you will always receive plants suitable for the use you have in mind. However this is a very popular plant in high demand and because we constantly receive new stock, supplies may be limited. Order this reliable and tough plant now to avoid being disappointed.