Best time of year to replace juniper bushes

Asked July 31, 2019, 6:57 AM EDT

We have several juniper bushes around the house, and we are considering replacing two on the front (south) side of our home. When is the best time of year to do this? We would assume we would not want to do this in the heat of the summer, but we weren't sure when would be the best time to help the new bushes get established. A related question: Is winter the best time to prune back an overgrown juniper (north side of house)? It is badly overgrown, and we need to prune it back when it is safe for the plant's health to do it.

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

Experts at Iowa State University say, "prune juniper in late March or early April before new growth begins. Light pruning may also be done in late June or early July. Avoid pruning evergreen shrubs in the fall. Fall pruned evergreens are more susceptible to winter injury."

It's OK to plant container grown junipers any time during the growing season but before the end of September.

Overgrown junipers are difficult to prune without destroying their appearance. Depending upon the juniper and your objectives, it may take several years to achieve your purpose. Sometimes it's best to remove overgrown junipers and start over.

Experts at Iowa State University put it this way, "large, overgrown evergreen shrubs, such as junipers, are a difficult problem. Junipers possess bare or dead zones in their centers. They can not be pruned back severely because they are incapable of initiating new growth from bare branches. Large, overgrown junipers that have become too large or unattractive will need to be removed and new shrubs planted."