Hearing the name Juniper tree, we immediately think of a large tree with evergreen leaves. However, not all Juniper trees have green leaves or large trees.
Juniper trees are included in the Cupressaceae family, which are conifers that are widespread throughout the world. Types include 27 to 30 genera (17 monotypic), including Juniper and Redwood, with about 130 species.
Most of the Juniper trees are distributed in the northern hemisphere, from the Arctic to tropical Africa, then in the mountains of Central America, Pakistan, and Ziarat.
The highest known Juniper Forest is at an altitude of 4,900 m above sea level, to be precise in southeastern Tibet and north of the Himalayas, making it the tree with the highest growing habitat on earth.
Bonsai artists often use Juniper trees as bonsai subjects. It cannot be denied that the beauty of the Juniper tree is indeed very charming and can be said to have high aesthetic value.
So, what are the Juniper tree species that are often used by the bonsai artist? Here’s the list:
Juniperus chinensis is a Juniper tree with soft green foliage with a trunk that often twists. This species is very popular in the world of Bonsai because of its exotic foliage.
2. Temple Juniper (Juniperus rigida)
Juniperus rigida is a species of Juniper from Japan with sharp leaves. This also includes a tree that is widely used by bonsai artists around the world.
3. Common Juniper (Juniperus communis)
Juniperus communis is a species of Juniper native to North America, Europe, and Asia with small, sharp leaves that are softer than Juniperus rigida leaves. This species is protected and should not be taken from the wild, but the nursery has many cultivars that are traded.
4. Himalayan Juniper (Juniperus squamata)
Juniperus squamata is a species of Juniper native to east Asia. The tree can grow at an altitude of 1,500-5,000 m above sea level. Juniperus squamata is widely grown as an ornamental plant in Europe and North America. The tree is highly prized for its bluish foliage, as well as its scarcity from plant vendors.
5. Dwarf Japanese Juniper (Juniperus procumbens)
Juniperus procumbens is a Japanese Juniper tree that grows in southern Japan. Its status as a wild plant is still being debated, with some authorities treating it as endemic to the mountains of Kyushu and several other islands in southern Japan.
6. Eastern Juniper (Juniperus virginiana)
Juniperus virginiana is a species of Juniper native to eastern North America with brown, fibrous bark. The oldest reported Eastern Juniper tree is over 900 years old.
7. Savin Juniper (Juniperus sabina)
Juniperus sabina is a species of Juniper native to the mountains of central and southern Europe & western and central Asia. This tree usually grows at an altitude of 1,000-3,300 m above sea level. All parts of the Savin Juniper tree are poisonous because they contain poisonous compounds.
Prickly Juniper is a species of Juniper native to the Mediterranean region, including Morocco, Portugal, France, Iran, Lebanon, and Israel. The tree often grows between rocks in mountainous areas at an altitude of 1,000-1,600 m above sea level.
10. Canary Juniper (Juniperus cedrus)
Canary Juniper is a species of Juniper native to the western Canary Islands, where the tree grows at an altitude of 500-2,400 m asl. It is closely related to Prickly Juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus) in the Mediterranean and Azores Juniper (Juniperus brevifolia) in the Azores.