Trautman Chinese JuniperJuniperus chinensis 'Trautman'
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Juniperus chinensis 'Trautman'
Outdoor Growing zone
The Trautman Chinese Juniper is a slender, upright evergreen that grows to 6 feet in height, while remaining just a foot or two wide. It will ultimately reach and even pass 12 feet, but it will stay narrow, with mature trees growing no more than 4 feet across. The branches grow upright, and they are densely covered in coral-like foliage, of a rich blue-green color. New shoots are silvery. This tree produces a heavy crop of berries that are dusty blue, and the look of a tree with berries is very striking. Grow this plant as a vertical accent anywhere, as a slender screen, on slopes and among rocks. It is perfect for Asian-style gardens, where it can be trimmed and trained into exotic forms.
Full sun is best for the Trautman Chinese Juniper, and it will grow in any well-drained soil. That includes rocky and sandy soils, and thin urban soils too. Avoid wet areas and it will thrive. Pests and diseases are not problems, and it has specific resistance to Phomopsis blight. Deer and rabbits leave it alone, and it is untroubled by salt and air pollution.
Junipers are a varied lot. From flat rugs to narrow spires, these evergreens come in lots of colors too, but most of them have one thing in common. They are tough, reliable and usually resistant to cold too, making them ideal for everyone who gardens in colder zones. The Trautman Chinese Juniper is no exception, and many experts consider it one of the most attractive and reliable of all the upright junipers. It’s superb coral-like blue-green foliage is always appealing, and it naturally forms a narrow pyramidal spire that is the perfect accent. Top that off with a showy display of berries all winter and you have the closest thing there is to a perfect bush. Everyone agrees that this plant should be planted much more widely.
The Trautman Chinese Juniper is a slender, upright evergreen that grows to about 6 feet tall within 10 years from a cutting, and that will double that height, reaching 12 feet, after a second decade. During all that time it remains slender, just a couple of feet wide when young, and no more than 4 feet across even when it is a mature plant. Some trimming can keep it even narrower, if that is what you need.
The foliage is of the type called ‘adult’ in conifers. That is, the leaves are flattened scales that cling closely to the stems, not short, triangular, sharp leaves that make many junipers prickly to the touch. These leaves cover short, tufted shoots, giving a coral-like look to the stems, and a fascinating texture. The foliage is a rich blue-green, and the new growth each year is a bright splash of silver. The color holds well all through winter, without greening or browning.
Another outstanding and special feature of the Trautman Chinese Juniper is the abundant crop of berries produced each fall and held through winter. These berries, which are not the edible juniper berries used in cooking, are silvery-blue, with a dusty gray bloom on them, and they stand out on the stems beautifully. They cluster and bunch all over the branches and they really add something special to this plant.
For cold climates this tree has been described as the best substitute for the Italian Cypress, which needs warmer winters. Use it wherever you need a strong vertical accent in your beds, Plant a pair on either side of a gate or door, or group it in clusters on your lawn. Use it on slopes and rocky areas, perhaps mixed with other tough evergreens of other shapes and colors. Add it on the sunny side of your home as part of your foundation planting. Grow it as a row to a striking screen, spacing plants 2 feet apart. This is one plant that is always going to look great, anywhere and everywhere in your garden.
This bush is also an excellent specimen for bonsai or for featuring in Asian gardens. It can be trimmed and wired to give it a more exotic look, and even trained horizontally, or any way you choose.
The Trautman Chinese Juniper is tough. It is completely hardy all through zone 4, without any need for protection beyond a soak in late fall. Yet it also grows well right through zone 8, and everywhere in between.
Full sun is always best for junipers, and this one is no exception. Shade will give weak growth, encourage disease and turn it green. It grows well in any well-drained soil, including sandy and rocky soils, and gravels too. For poor soil junipers have few equals, and wet is the only enemy. Water new plants weekly, but once established this plant is very, very tough, and highly drought resistant.
For low maintenance, the Trautman Chinese Juniper is hard to beat. “Plant me and forget me” should be its motto, because once you have made sure it is well established there is nothing more to do. You can trim if you want to, but there is something special about the rich, twisted foliage that is easily destroyed, and this is one plant that really isn’t improved by trimming. No one has ever seen a deer graze on this bush and rabbits don’t eat it either. As for pests and diseases, these really aren’t an issue at all, and it has excellent resistance to the one common juniper disease that damages so many others. That is Phomopsis blight, which turns all the growing tips brown, and sometimes the whole tree. It can be a problem when soil conditions are not as well-drained as we might like, so it’s great to know your tree won’t suffer even if the conditions are not perfect. It is also resistant to salt and urban pollution.
The Chinese Juniper, Juniperus chinensis, grows wild throughout China, Japan and Mongolia, where it may be seen on mountains and in rocky areas as a tree up to 60 feet tall. It has always been very variable, and different forms have been collected by Asian, and later Western, gardeners. Batches of seedlings are often variable, and it was in a batch of seedlings that Herbert Trautman found this tree. Trautman was a highly-respected Wisconsin nurseryman, who worked closely with Johnson’s Nursery, in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. They introduced his selection to gardeners with the simple name, ’Trautman’.
We believe Trautman’s juniper should be much more widely grown than it is, which is why we worked to source some great young plants. It really is an outstanding tree that we know you will love, so order it now, because we don’t know when or where we will find more.