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Growing juniper or cedar from cones?

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  • Growing juniper or cedar from cones?

    Just moved into a new(er) house and there's a tree in front that looks like a cedar or juniper? not sure. Anyway, it has many of these hard dime-size berries or cones on it with little spikes on them. Would these grow if planted?
    I know it would take a while since these are slow growing trees.
    Thanks ;^) ~

  • #2
    Hi Igneous,

    Congratulations on your new home! It would be best to first id which tree you have cones for. Photos of the cones and trees would be most helpful. With your description of 'berries', I suspect it's either arborvitae or juniper. You might find this site helpful.

    Here's a picture of the different cones.

    California Juniper cone

    Utah Juniper cones

    Male juniper cones

    Female juniper cones/berries

    Juniper descriptions

    Arborvitae cones

    true Cedar cones - be sure to read about them too at this site.

    Propagation of cedar

    You could do a google search for
    and click on Images for pics to be sure which plants you have.



    • #3
      Think it may be the arborvitae, the leaves are thin and flat like the pic. I'll take a shot of it when I get home and compare. Anyway, can you use those
      cones as seed?


      • #4
        Hopefully i uploaded this right....
        Attached Files


        • #5
          I suspect you are correct that it's Arborvitae (known botanically as Thuja), probably a named variety of Northern White Cedar, which is actually in the cedar family. I say that because it looks like it was planted in the landscape and not found in the wild or just grew up there thanks to Mother Nature.

          If you want to get exactly the same aspects of this plant (height, width, growth habit, color, etc), then you would do best to take cuttings and root those.



          • #6
            Thank Newt, I'll try cuttings. This is one of the many trees the previous owner planted. I'd like to put a line of these on the west side of the house to shade it. How tall do they get?


            • #7
              Igneous, you are so very welcome!

              "How tall do they get?"

              Without knowing which particular named variety, it's impossible to say. I would suggest you look to see if there is a plant tag attached to any of the limbs or call the previous owner to ask them. Arborvitae grow in different shapes, hues of color and sizes. Some can grow to 30' while others grow to 4'.

              Here's some info on these trees. You can see by the links on the left that they come in different shapes and sizes. You might want to research which will be best for your purpose of a screen and plant those. How tall do you need them to grow?

              You might find this diary helpful. I know this gal from an arborist forum we used to be on together. Sadly, the forum got so much spam it shut down.



              • #8
                The one in the photo has grown almost a foot since we moved in. I'll have to get my tree shrub identifier book or ask our friend that does landscaping. I'd like to get 2 more, but I think I need something else. These will have low branches and tapers to small at the top, like in the link pic you sent.

                I have a space about 8-10 feet from house to the fence, and I'd like something that grows fast but won't make a mess (ie. anything w/big leaves), as some of it will grow over the neighbors property and I don't want them complaining about it. It's an area that gets alot of water, as it has a gradient to provide runoff lane to curb. Any fast growing (evergreen if possible) you can think of?
                Think I'll get another arborvitae tree and put it on the other side of the front of house to sort of 'frame' it and make it look symmetrical.
                Thanks again for your advice.


                • #9
                  Sorry I forgot to get back to you on this. I don't know where you live or what your hardiness zone is, so I can't make specific recommendations on what to plant between the house and the fence. You say the space is 8' to 10', but you don't say how wide the shrubs can grow and if you need room to walk there. There is a pyramidal form of Arborvitae that should work for a space such as this. The site I gave you about Arborvitae has info on them.

                  Be sure to plant so there is room enough for the shrubs width without hitting the fence. The shrubs will appreciate the air flow and there will be less chance of injury to the branches from hitting the fence on a windy day. If you need sites on how to plant, mulch and water just let me know.



                  • #10
                    I was looking for shade trees to plant, but looked at the area this past weekend and decided against it. There's just not enough room since I have to mow this area. I was thinking a fast growing shade tree that would grow 20-30' and shade roof. The arborvitae would make area inaccessible. Our master bedroom is what I'd like to get shaded. It gets alot of pm sun and just trying to find an easy way to shade it.


                    • #11
                      There are columnar trees that only grow 15' wide or so in the crown. Here's some examples. If there is something you like we can research further as I have some info on a few others.
                      Urban Forestry Services, Inc. - Wholesale Tree Nursery - Trees for Limited Spaces

                      Another option might be some type of solar shades on the windows. They tend to be expensive for large windows (I have a similar situation), but you can get them in different intensities of shading and different colors.
                      solar shades for windows - Google Image Search



                      • #12
                        I'm doing solar shades now, and they help quite a bit. I bought the kits at Home Depot, and did 10 of various sizes for about $100. Not bad really~ $10/per window. My dilemma is needing to plant something so close to the fence line that it'll grow over into neighbors yard (w/subsequent leaf mess in the fall), esp. if it's a large leaf deciduous instead of evergreen. Thanks for the nursery link, looks helpful.


                        • #13
                          Great buy on the solar shades! My problem is the smallest window is about 102" wide.

                          You said: "I have a space about 8-10 feet from house to the fence, and I'd like something that grows fast but won't make a mess (ie. anything w/big leaves), as some of it will grow over the neighbors property and I don't want them complaining about it. It's an area that gets alot of water, as it has a gradient to provide runoff lane to curb. Any fast growing (evergreen if possible) you can think of?"

                          So I'm guessing that the fence is a chain link fence. You also mentioned: "I was thinking a fast growing shade tree that would grow 20-30' and shade roof." That makes me think you have a one story house?

                          So what's the maximum width and height you want these evergreen shrubs? Sun conditions must be full sun if you need to shade it from afternoon sun. What's your hardiness zone? I'm asking these two questions because there are some very narrow (2' to 3' wide at maturity) shrubs that are evergreen that might work.



                          • #14
                            House is 2 story on the east side, 1 story on the west, where in front is our study/office and master bed/bath are in rear. So it gets warm on the west side wall late in the summer. I installed radiant barrier foil to the rafters of most of the house except the west side, where I need it most. There's no access to this area via the attic, that's why I'd like to shade master bed/bath
                            with a tree or two. I strongly recommend radiant barrier.
                            I'm in the DFW area, just NE of Dallas, so what zone is that?


                            • #15
                              I suspect you are in zone 7 or 8. Here's a zip code zone finder.

                              We also used the radiant barrier on the west and south sides of our house when we re-sided. It made a huge difference. We also replaced all the sliding glass doors and the windows with low-e glass. It cut our utility bill in half.

                              So here's some columnar trees that might work for you. They are deciduous, so they will shed their leaves, but the extra sun in the winter should be a plus.

                              Here's a copy of a post from a cyber friend on another forum whoes name is Quirky Quercus (one is evergreen at the bottom):

                              I highly recommend Apollo Sugar Maple 'Barrett Cole' (sp?)
                              Very dense branching, not too upright, almost horizatal branching, large leaves. Been said to look like a child in adult's clothing. I have 3 of them in my yard and don't have a single complaint. They are everything a columnar tree should be and also semi-dwarf to boot, reportedly only to 8x25 so even in the smallest garden you can find space. Fall color is a 10. didn't lose a single leaf in summer heat.

                              Another one of my favorite columnars is Liriodendron tulipifera 'Arnold'. Maturing around 16'x70', these have performed great for me. There are some nearby that have been in the ground a number of years I suppose and they also look good. The fall color is great only my one complaint is this one for some reason or another... the leaves do not fall quickly they turn yellow then brown then stay on the tree til they're all ready to drop. Still a worthwhile tree but not as good as the species for fall foliage for that reason.

                              Another one I like a lot for quality fine textured foliage and dense branching is European Hornbeam 'Franz Fontaine' Note; variable spelling on that cultivar... some spell it FranS. Other than japanese beetle damage this one is a tough street tree and can make a nice hedge, has that strong wood you're looking for an branching looks nice even in winter. Slow growing!!! Rootballs are small though so may make planting easier for you.

                              Lets see... I've also got a sugar maple 'Steeple', not quite a true columnar, with an upright oval to 20x70', supposed to be of southern lineage as in Athens GA. Great tree, fall color is not all that. Does fine in the heat extremes as do the Apollos by the way.

                              I recently saw some Princeton Sentry gingos that went in at a shopping ctr around 4" cal and they had a nice form. In the past I've mentioned how mine looks like a scarecrow but it's only about 1.75" so seeing these does offer some hope for the future.
                              ^^^^ Referring to ginkgo biloba 'Princeton Sentry'

                              White pine 'fastigiata' 5'x25' ... I made a grouping with them in my small yard
                              Google those, even clicking on 'Images' and see if there are any you like.