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A juniper hedge will adorn the site of a country house for many years. This species of conifers is long-lived, they live for hundreds of years. A living fence will revive the landscape, clean the air from dust and harmful substances. The needles release phytoncides, so the air next to these plants becomes healing.
Pros and cons of juniper hedge
The neighborhood of fruit trees and juniper hedges is not always successful. Ephedra can cause rust on apple, pear, mountain ash, hawthorn. It is caused by basidiomycetes. The fact that the juniper is infected with this pathogen can be understood by the orange growths on the branches. You can see them in the spring.
Preventive measures save the day. They are carried out in the orchard and included in the hedge maintenance plan. Ephedra does not grow very quickly. It takes more than one year to wait for a living fence to close the plot from neighbors. This can be attributed to the disadvantages of the juniper hedge. Difficulties arise during cultivation. Varietal varieties are often sunburned at a young age.
One can talk about the merits of juniper hedges for a long time. Grown competently, it will not only be beautiful, but also functional:
- as an external fence will protect the area from prying eyes;
- it can be used for zoning a personal plot;
- will be an excellent background for ornamental shrubs, flower beds, lawns;
- will decorate the winter garden with bright needles;
- will have a phytotherapeutic effect, filling the air with phytoncides and a pleasant aroma of needles.
The shape of the fence is limited only by the owner's imagination. By choosing a certain variety, you can play with the color. The needles are gray, golden yellow, light green, dark green. Juniper tolerates a haircut well, so the fence can be given a strict shape or left uncut. The undoubted advantages of the ephedra include durability, unpretentiousness, frost resistance.
Which juniper is best for a hedge
It is definitely not worth bringing seedlings from the forest. It damages the forest. The decorativeness of the forest juniper hedge leaves much to be desired. Planting material should be purchased at the nursery. Expensive, but you can choose a suitable variety of ephedra that meets all the necessary requirements:
- medium in size, with good root system;
- adapted to the local climate.
Some varieties of common juniper are suitable for a hedge in the shady part of the garden. This species grows best in areas where it is light, but there is no midday sun. The Meyer coniferous shrub is one of the representatives of this species.
He has a wide columnar crown, silvery-green needles. It grows rather slowly. The height of the tree at 10 years of age is 3 m, with a crown diameter of 60 cm. The crown of the Meyer juniper looks fluffy because of several tops.
Suecica is another representative of the common juniper. The hedge of this ephedra grows slowly. By the age of 10, it does not exceed 2.5 m. The crown width at this age is 80 cm. It is dense, columnar, no problems arise when pruning. This variety is frost-hardy, grows better in the sun. In the shade, the crown loses its decorative effect, becomes loose, spreading.
For a hedge in light partial shade and in the sun, the species of juniper Virginsky and Rocky are suitable. The advantages of these varieties include the fact that formative pruning does not inhibit the growth of shoots. These conifers are undemanding to the composition of the soil, frost and drought resistant.
Many gardeners, laying a hedge in the garden, prefer the Skyrocket variety. It has a muted blue-gray color of needles. It is quite soft and grows back quickly. The frost resistance of the variety is average. Loves light, but can grow in light partial shade. Crown characteristics:
- wide conical shape;
- diameter at 10 years - 1 m, maximum - 1.5 m;
- tree height at 10 years - 2 m, maximum - 5 m.
Attention! Juniper varieties grow best in alkaline soil. Rocky varieties prefer slightly acidic soil.
The slow-growing Blue Arrow (Blue Arrow) species with a columnar, very narrow, dense crown is also popular. For a year, the growth does not exceed 15 cm. This is a rocky variety of juniper, which is used to create a hedge.
By the age of 10, a tree is formed from the seedling 2-2.5 m high, with a diameter of about 0.7 m. The maximum growth of the Blue Arrow juniper is 10 m. The needles are hard, blue-blue, scaly. Shoots grow frequently, vertically.
The crown retains its decorative effect for many years, the lower branches do not die off for a long time, they grow close to the ground. Ephedra is not afraid of frost, the danger is snow. Heavy snowfall can break ephedra branches.
The frost-resistant variety Keteleri is used in hedges. This is a Chinese juniper. The needles are greenish-blue, the shape of the crown is narrow, columnar. The growth is moderate. The statistics by year are shown in the table.
Crown height (m)
How to plant a juniper to create a hedge
It is better to buy seedlings in containers, aged from 2 to 5 years. Each tree should be inspected for damage. Check the shoots for flexibility. Examine the needles. The color must be uniform. The disadvantages of a seedling include:
- lack of young growth on the branches;
- brown needles;
- cracks in the trunk.
Saplings are planted in a trench. It is pre-marked. Use pegs and twine. The depth and width of the ditch are commensurate with the size of the earthen lump. The recommended dimensions are 60 x 80 cm. Drainage must be taken care of in advance. Introduce fine gravel and sand.
Important! Juniper seedlings are planted in spring.
Any kind of juniper does not tolerate stagnant water well. Drainage should be covered with a layer of 10-15 cm. The soil for filling the soil should be taken from the upper layer. For every 2 parts of garden land, add:
- sand - 1 part;
- peat - 2 parts;
- humus - 2 parts;
- fertilizer "Kemira Universal" - 150 g;
- fertilizer nitrophoska - 300 g.
The spacing between seedlings depends on the variety. When marking planting sites, take into account the shape and size of the crown of an adult juniper tree (bush):
- 1.5-2 m - for spreading;
- 0.6-0.7 m - for cone-shaped.
To form a continuous hedge, the seedlings are planted in 2 lines, placing them in a checkerboard pattern.
Features of care for a juniper hedge
The needles of young trees can burn in the bright sun, so the first year after planting, the conifers are shaded from direct sunlight. Use burlap or some kind of rag. There is no need for frequent feeding; fertilizers are applied under a hedge 1 time. In the spring, before watering, a nitroammophoska is scattered at 30-40 g / m².
Adult conifers, if it rains, do not need watering. Young junipers in the system are watered with settled water. The soil underneath should be moderately moist. To retain moisture, the ground around the hedge is covered with mulch (marble chips, bark).
Mulch has other functions as well. It inhibits the growth of weeds, the spread of infection and pests. Pruning is an important part of hedge maintenance. The first time it is carried out 2 years after planting, it is cut in the middle of spring. The crown is formed in the form of a pyramid, rectangle, square, trapezoid. The top during the first cut can be shortened by 25%, the length of the side branches by 75%.
Before the onset of frost, young conifers are covered with spunbond, the soil is mulched. The branches of mature trees with a pyramidal crown are pulled with twine. This protects them from snow and fractures.
Junipers in hedges can suffer from a fungal infection. For prophylaxis, trees are sprayed with a solution of copper sulfate or the fungicide "Median Extra". Sick conifers are treated with Fundazol.
A juniper hedge is appropriate in a large garden and in a small cottage. A coniferous fence enlivens the landscape, decorates the garden all year round. Juniper creates a favorable microclimate, enriches the air with useful phytoncides.