20 to 30 ft.
8 to 15 ft.
western North America
USDA zones 3-7
hardy to 10,000 ft.
Rocky Mountain juniper is an upright, native evergreen tree. It grows naturally throughout the Rocky Mountains, including the foothills areas of Colorado Springs.
Rocky Mountain juniper has a pyramid shape and dark green to blue green scales (needles). It is an excellent option for an extremely drought-tolerant, low-maintenance evergreen tree.
There have been many cultivars developed from the native species that are more uniform, smaller, narrower or more blue in color. Many of these cultivars are better suited to landscapes than the native species. Check with your local nursery to see which cultivars are available for sale.
Rocky mountain juniper and its cultivars are good choices for evergreen trees for dry locations. They are suitable for screening and wind protection as well. Make sure the mature size and growth rate is appropriate since they vary widely amongst cultivars.
Some cultivars have branches that bend outward during heavy snowstorms. Wrapping the outside of the tree with rope temporarily can help prevent the branches from breaking. Protection from deer browsing is also important for lower branches, especially when the tree is young.
Do not prune down to bare wood (all junipers require minimal to no pruning). Don't plant too close to a house; give it enough space for its mature size.