91120Ah, something vintage! Remember Hollywood juniper, Juniperus chinensis ‘Kaizuka’ (or ‘Torulosa’) flanking big two-car garage doors of mid century modern homes? Those that are still around after half a century are big and strikingly sculptural, like miniature Monterey cypress for home gardens. They get about fifteen feet tall and ten feet wide, but have potential to get significantly larger.

Hollywood juniper is an old classic that is still reasonably available in some nurseries. Their densely foliated stems twist and turn picturesquely upward, typically leaning one way or another toward sunlight or away from prevailing wind. Some say they look like frozen green flames. Their gnarly trunks and flaking bark can be exposed as they grow tall enough for low growth to be pruned away.

Because of their very irregular branch structure, Hollywood juniper is more adaptable to free-formed pruning than the presently trendy junipers with strictly upright or conical form. They must never be shorn, but do not mind if obtrusive limbs get pruned back to the main trunks. Therefore, they are actually more adaptable to smaller modern gardens than some modern cultivars of juniper are.

2 thoughts on “Hollywood Juniper

  1. Hollywood Juniper. I had no idea what the two junipers were at the side of our house which was built in 1963. I’m not a huge fan but they are big and here so I’m not going to cut them down. It never occurred to me cut some of the lower branches back. I’ll take a fresh look. I always learn something from your blog posts, Tony.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Branches that are obtrusive should be removed, if possible, by cutting them back to the main trunk. Just cutting them back part way will leave disfigured stubs that may never recover. Interior trunks and remaining limbs are quite sculptural. I like Hollywood juniper best if it is well foliated all the way to the ground. however, I also think they look great in situations where such wide shrubs will not fit, so must be pruned up like small trees instead.

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