APRIL: MEDORA UPRIGHT JUNIPER
Juniperus scopulorum ‘Medora’ is another popular upright Juniper often planted in Boulder Colorado Landscapes. There are a variety of reasons to plant upright junipers. They can be used as anchor plants for a corner of a home or the corner of a back yard. They can act as a privacy screen in tight neighborhoods to keep out the prying eyes of the old, creepy naked guy in the hot tub next door! They can act as a wind screen from west or north winds in the winter time. And, they can even act as a ‘living’ snow fence to keep snow drifts at bay.
This article is an amendment to another blog article which includes information about Upright Junipers.
Medora Junipers are a little wider than the ‘Skyrocket’ variety described in the above link. They will achieve 5’ in width and might gain 18’ in height after 12-15 years. They are also more blue rather than green to green/blue like the ‘Skyrocket’. Some of the desirability of the Medora are also that they tend to remain more tight in their growth habit, more dense, and are better able to fend off the heavy wet spring or fall snow that can sometimes pull branches away from the main trunk of other junipers. Easily sheared for shape, or left alone to grow at their own pace, Medora offers an attractive alternative to the more expensive Columnar Norway Spruce or Cupressina….for more info, read this blog article. The Medora Juniper is drought tolerant, can handle our poor soil conditions, and is generally disease and pathogen resistant. It will require regular watering the first year or two, but after that will generally be ok without too much added water over our normal precipitation.
Finally, a little history. Medora is a cultivar or hybrid of the Rocky Mountain Juniper. It originated in the North Dakota Agricultural College in 1939. The distinct growth habit was noted of one plant and this clone was named Medora in 1954. It is representative of a distinct type of Rocky Mountain Juniper native to a restricted area near Amidon, North Dakota in western Slope county. Many Junipers in this area are characterized by extremely slender, columnar growth, reaching 30’ in height and only 3-4’ wide. It is distinctly more compact than the native types of Rocky Mountain Juniper. The clone produces no fruit. Originally thought to be too expensive to propagate, Medora was thought to preclude general distribution. But, 60 years later, they are readily available at your local nursery. Try one in a corner or three as a privacy screen. You won’t be disappointed.