Sunday, February 14th 2016

Foxglove has several Juniper trees.  They were grown from seed and planted about 10  year ago.  They are growing well.  This photograph was taken on the snowy day in January, showing the Junipers on the heath. The mound on which they are growing is often covered in Common Spotted Orchids in the summer.

Junipers in the snow

Juniper trees are under threat from a fungus-like pathogen, Phytophthora austrocedri.  Trees with the disease have been found in Scotland, Northumberland, Teesdale and North Yorkshire.  Different strategies are employed to prevent the spread of the disease but so far none have been totally effective.  Thankfully ours are disease free but we keep a watchful eye on them.

Paths pass the Junipers and they are always looked at.  The green berries take over a year to ripen so we are always excited to find ripe blue ones.  Interested in growing plants from seeds, a glance at the web indicates that they need cold and warmth, at the right time and for the correct length of time and can take up to five years to germinate!

Admiring our Junipers on the flower walk, we spotted a small tree growing in an area of the heath.  Conifer we said and we all trooped across carefully to see if we could ID it.  Juniper.  It was inspected again and Juniper it was.   You can just see it to the right of the photograph, just a little smaller than those it is growing amongst!


A close up.  It is not much bigger than the Heather surrounding it.

The small Juniper

Once ID'd so the questions began.  Is it a dwarf variety?  Has it been planted recently?  No one put their hand up to this.  A more exciting suggestion - has a seed germinated itself?  We will continue to investigate and keep a careful watch over our little Juniper.

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