Juniperus sabina ‘Tamariscifolia’ -- Tam Juniper

Etymology

Tamariscifolia: leaves like Tamarix (Coombes)

Common Name

Tam Juniper

Origin

Nursery (straight species from Asia)

Family

Cupressaceae

Type

Evergreen conifer groundcover

ID Features

Groundcover comes from a central point; branches spread out & then turn up; Pick up a branch—the side branches form a V; Bigger than ‘Buffalo’; More needle-like foliage than scale-like—very prickly Sea-green to blue-green color; Smells like cat urine

Size

Mature: 10 – 15’ H, 40 –60’ S (doesn’t usually spread this wide in PNW, but it will in the Midwest)

Landscape: 2 – 3’ H, 8 – 15’ S

Growth rate: Fast

Form

Mounds up in middle and spreads out; Branches are long, & side branches form a V; Very dense

habit photo
Juniperus sabina ‘Tamariscifolia’ habit

Bark & Branches

Flaky reddish brown bark; hidden under branchlets

bark photo
Juniperus sabina ‘Tamariscifolia’ bark

Foliage

More needle-like foliage than scale-like—very prickly; Color: sea-green to blue-green; Smells like cat urine; Feathery appearance

foliage photo
Juniperus sabina ‘Tamariscifolia’ foliage

Cones

Gray-blue, small (3/8”); Sets few berries, & those are usually hidden beneath the foliage

Cultural considerations

Hardiness

Sunset: A2, A3, 1 – 24

USDA: 3 – 7

Exposure

Full sun

Soil

Sandy, well-drained soil

Water

Drought tolerant—water at planting, & never again

Pests

Juniper tip midge

Diseases / Problems

Phomopsis twig blight; root rot. Tam Juniper is often planted in the wrong place—in clay, in an area that’s too small & gets irrigation. Its life span in clay is 10 – 14 years; with irrigation, it’s 6 – 10 years.

Pruning

Remove dead/damaged branches Prune outer branches to control spread

Propagation

Cuttings—easy

Use

Fast-growing groundcover for hot, dry situations; Usually so cheap that could be & is planted as expendable groundcover to be replaced in 8 yr

Other

Pruning Tam Juniper without wearing protective clothing can result in Juniper Rash; Very deep-rooted—need pickup truck & chainsaw to remove; Plant gallons in rows 6’ apart, & 10’ apart from each other

Links

OSU -- Wikipedia

Credits

Photos taken by Jeff Kidder on the PCC Rock Creek campus, unless noted to the contrary.

Much of the text in the plant info was taken from handouts in the Evergreen Plant ID course.