The Burkii Juniper is an upright, conical evergreen growing 10 or 15 feet tall and about 6 feet wide at the base. It has blue-green to silver-blue foliage that turns purple in winter, adding variety to your garden. The dense branches can be trimmed into a more formal shape or left to grow naturally. Grow it as a lawn accent, on slopes and banks, in urban gardens, or as part of a natural garden of native trees. This reliable and easily grown plant can find a place in every garden where you want beauty without high maintenance.
- Attractive upright conical form to 15 feet
- Rich blue-green to silver-blue foliage
- Turns deep purple in winter
- Very cold and drought resistant
- A native tree for natural plantings
Plant the Burkii Juniper in full sun or light partial shade. It is hardy almost everywhere, even in zones 2 and 3, and it grows in northern Florida and around the Gulf. It grows in almost any soil, from rocks and sand to clay, if the soil is not always wet. It tolerates salt, urban pollution and deer, and pests or diseases rarely bother it. Trim from late spring to early fall if you want a more formal look.
There are lots of evergreens that grow upright in conical forms. Many are forms of trees that are not native to this country, but if you want to grow native trees in your garden, you can hardly do better than to plant the Burkii Juniper. This handsome tree goes through fascinating color changes over the seasons, from blue-green to silver-blue to purple, and it makes a great vertical element in any part of your garden. From a formal accent to a natural landscape, you will love the beauty this plant brings, and how good it looks wherever you plant it.
Growing the Burkii Juniper
Size and Appearance
The Burkii Juniper is a slender, upright evergreen with a moderate growth rate that typically grows 10 to 15 feet tall, with a conical form. Mature trees are usually no more than 6 or 7 feet wide. Over time it may grow a little taller and wider. The branches are closely spaced around the trunk, keeping this bush dense even if you never trim it. Well-branched and bushy to the ground unless pruned up, older trees develop a low trunk, with a broad, flaring base with deep fluting. The peeling, reddish-brown bark gives a rugged look to mature trees, and you can trim it up to show off the trunk and make a more tree-like form.
The leaves of this tree are very small, and shaped like pointed triangles, with their bases wrapped around the stems, giving a fluffy look, and they are not particularly prickly. They are variable in color, bluish green when newly emerged in spring, becoming more silvery-blue in summer and into fall. Cold weather turns the leaves an attractive plum purple, overcast with gray. This is a male tree, so it does not produce any juniper berries.
Using Burkii Juniper in Your Garden
As a specimen or a screen, the Burkii Juniper is hard to beat. It has a rugged beauty that projects its toughness, and on a lawn – alone or in a group of three – it looks great. Place it in beds as a vertical accent, or at the corners to frame them. Plant a row along a fence or driveway or use it as a relatively slender screen along your property line. Plant it on slopes and banks, as well as among rocks, gravel and boulders. It could even be grown for many years in a large tub or planter, as a patio specimen.
The Burkii Juniper is incredibly hardy. It thrives all across the country, from cold states and high ground in zone 2, all the way into northern Florida, southern California and Texas, in zone 9. Don’t even think about whether it will grow where you are – it will.
Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions
Full sun is best for the Burkii Juniper, but it will tolerate a few hours of shade in a day. It grows in almost any type of soil, and it is remarkable for growing well in moist soils as well as in rocky ground and very dry places. It even grows in heavy clay, as long as it is not low-lying and always wet. Avoid any spots that are often wet, and too shady, and this tree will be happy. It will even grow near the notorious black walnut, which poisons the soil around it, preventing most plants from growing – but not this one.
Maintenance and Pruning
The Burkii Juniper is naturally dense and well-shaped, but you can trim it to give it formal beauty if you wish. It clips well into a tear-drop shape, or a narrower column, if trimmed once or twice a year. Clip in spring, once the new growth has matured a little, and again in late summer if you wish. You can prune up the lower branches to develop a more tree-like form and show off its attractive trunk and bark. Deer don’t bother it, and there are few diseases or pests or any great importance. Salt and urban pollution don’t bother it either. Avoid planting around apple trees, as it can spread apple rust, a leaf disease, which affects apples, while having no serious effect on junipers.