Need help identifying this tree or shrub please

Broomfield, CO


I live in Colorado. My neighbor put this tree out in their yard with a free sign. We don't have much shade in our backyard so I picked up, but having issues identifying so I can determine use. It's soft but the needles are very prickly and hard to handle without gloves. Based on some prelim research, I believe I've narrowed it down to 2 plants, but would like your help please.

Thank you!

This message was edited Aug 23, 2019 11:20 AM

Thumbnail by missionpk Thumbnail by missionpk Thumbnail by missionpk Thumbnail by missionpk
Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

It looks like, and your description fits, a Juniperus sp.

Broomfield, CO

Quote from ViburnumValley :
It looks like, and your description fits, a Juniperus sp.

I appreciate the response! Sorry, I'm new to this, but what is meant by 'sp' ? I'm trying to figure out how tall / wide / full this will grow, and it seems like juniper's grow in many different sizes & shapes.

One app I've used identifies it as an Eastern red Cedar at times, and other times as a Prickly Cypress (which I can't find any mention of online)

Thank you,

This message was edited Aug 24, 2019 2:55 PM

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Sp. is normal shorthand for species, and is regularly used when the genus (in this case Juniperus) is known, but the species is not.

You haven't given us much information on the source of this plant (other than your neighbor gave it away), so I'm hesitant to categorically state what I think it is.

Ask them if they bought it and planted it, or if it was already part of their planted landscape when they moved in, or if it was a happenstance seedling that sprouted somewhere that they didn't want a conifer. That information will make a lot of difference in determining which Juniper this might be, among many similar species in this genus at that age and conformation.

There are a more than a few junipers that can be found in planted landscapes, but I suspect in Colorado that there are a choice few. A visit to your local nursery/garden center would illuminate those species. Native junipers are likely even fewer. A quick google search for junipers native to Colorado would reveal those.

Eastern Redcedar is one common name for Juniperus virginiana; it is also known by Virginia Juniper. I wouldn't expect this species to spontaneously show up in a Colorado landscape - but it could have been purchased and planted.

Other common junipers one might expect to find in Colorado landscapes could include:

Juniperus scopulorum - Rocky Mountain Juniper
Juniperus monospermum - One-seeded Juniper
Juniperus osteosperma - Utah Juniper
Juniperus occidentalis - Western Juniper

Broomfield, CO

Thanks so much for your input ViburnumValley!

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.