Juniperus scopulorum 'Blue Arrow' / Blue Arrow Rocky Mountain juniper

Juniperus scopulorum 'Blue Arrow' is a fairly fast growing, narrow, upright selection of Rocky Mountain juniper with dense branching holding bright, blue-green foliage and silvery berries in winter. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 12 to 15 feet (4 - 5 m) tall and only 2 feet (60 cm) wide, an annual growth rate of 15 to 18 inches (37 - 45 cm).

'Blue Arrow' is a good choice for those wanting a formal, Mediterranean-style garden, but live in a climate that is too cold for Cupressus sempervirens to survive.

This cultivar originated as a seedling selected in 1949 at Pine Grove Nurseries, Clearfield, Pennsylvania, USA. Many growers consider it to be an vast improvement over the older, ubiquitous, Juniperus scopulorum 'Skyrocket.'

Juniperus scopulorum 'Blue Arrow' a nice, blue-green formal, upright conifer.
Photo by Paramount Nursery, Inc.



Could these be trimmed at the top to maintain a desired height?

Maxwell Cohn



Hi David. Do you (or anyone else) know when I can trim my Blue Arrow? Some websites mention September. Also a website mentioned it's best to trim in late winter (when the heavy frost is passed). Can you advise? I live in the Netherlands. September is autumn and +/- 15 degrees C. Late winter +/- 5 degrees C (and the spring sets in around march/april.

Maxwell Cohn

Hester, you can shear your plant whenever you get the time.


Do you need to shape it. Mine is getting 'floppy' as it grows. The branches are starting to act as if they are too heavy to stay upright.


Can you tell me about the root system? Can these be planted up next to a foundation?

Maxwell Cohn

root system can be described as fibrous, spreading and adventitious. Feeder roots will spread out several feet from the crown in search of water and nutrients.

Barbara Belt

I am considering a 'Blue Arrow', I understand it stays about 2 feet wide. I have a small yard. I live in Colorado and concerned about how it does with snow weight. How does it hold up?I find nothing on this subject on the garden websites. I heard the Woodward (Plant select) does well with snow weight but I don't like the looks of it as well. Any help would be appreciated.

Maxwell Cohn

Hi Barbara ... snow and ice will definitely splay those fine fastigiate branches. If you don't want that that to happen, try doing what I do: before expected snow or ice, get a bunch of old bicycle tubes and and wrap that plant. As the snow event is taking place. Give the plant a few whaps with a broom before it builds up too much.

Steve Yoder

Does anyone know where these can be purchased online? Monrovia ships them, but not to Lafayette, Indiana, where I live (not sure why since it should do OK here). The local garden centers do not carry them either.

Paulina Nelega

How far apart should these be planted from one another, and how deep? Thank you.

Maxwell Cohn

if you're trying to create a mass planting, you can plant these as far apart as you please. As for depth, always plant to a depth that the root flare is visible. Planting too deep will virtually guarantee to suffocate the root system within 15 years of planting.

Robyn Meyer

Do deer like to eat these trees?

Maxwell Cohn

deer are extremely local problems. If they're starving in your neighborhood, any non-toxic plant is fair game. Junipers are non-toxic.

Dan McCormick

I want these for the front entrance which is fairly well shaded . I’m ok if they don’t reach mature height - but will they still work in the space ?

Maxwell Cohn

the more shade, the less dense the foliage and branching. They'll likely "open up" and look sparse.

Lisa Arrowood

I’m thinking of planting these on a ledge behind my house where there isn’t depo soil.
They will be I. Full sun and will have wind protection from house on one side and mature large trees below the ledge on the other. I’m in Massachusetts so there is snow. I
At these a poor choice for that location?


Can I plant the blue arrow juniper trees next to my patio and next to the patio sitting wall? Is planting them 1.5ft from the patio sitting sufficient distance?

David Olszyk

you should be fine with that setup for 10 to 15 years, after which the plants will most certainly start encroaching on your sitting area.

Mary Chaves

Can Blue Arrow Juniper grow well in sunny, moist site near black walnut tree?

Desiree Bussiere

We live in the high desert (Sierra Nevada) at about 4,000/4,500 feet in the Reno/Sparks valley. We are looking for easy care evergreens (we are from California and need to see "green") for a couple different areas in our smallish backyard. We will have a fountain built and were planning on putting Arborvitae (Emerald Green) on both sides and possibly behind but after learning they can grow up to 5 feet wide (too wide for our space) and that they are quite fussy when it comes to water (if they get tried out they will show the stress a couple months later through browning at the ends of the green leaves/needles and that takes a long time to repair per nursery experts). You won't necessarily know what caused the browning because it will show up a couple months after the incident. Our winters vary quite tremondously - some years it can get below 0 degrees F we are told. Last winter we had over 1 week several feet of snow when we were told at our location (southern part of the valley) the snow usually melts in a day or two. Our yard faces Soutwest (to the sunset) and get the mountain winds blown in towards the house from the backyard fence where we plan to plant the narrow conifers. Would this Blue Point be a good choice? Nurseries tell us if we have dry winter periods (we had no rain or snow for 45 days after early January) we will need to deep handwater (we winterize our irrigation) 2 times a month. Sound about right or can you add to this or correct any misunderstanding?


I planted one of these next to my foundation. Is that too close? Will the roots be a problem?

David Olszyk

how far away from the foundation did you plant? With conifers, the roots tend to spread to the dripline +/- about 20 percent.

Jenn Telesky

Right next to the foundation! I made sure the middle of the tree was 1.5 ft away from the house thinking of the diameter but didn't think about roots!

David Olszyk

I think that's way too close. You didn't leave enough room for the plant to grow for 50 years. They never stop growing. I think it should be a minimum of six feet away from the foundation. It'll be touching the house within ten years.

Barry Penobscott

I'm in S.E. Michigan, zone 6 and just received a few of these that are about 14" tall. Should I wait until the final frost before planting these young trees? (It's now April 1)

Sara Malone

Barry as long as all that is likely to ensue are short, mild frosts you'll be fine. I'm in Zone 9b so have a very different climate!


Will a somewhat sparse young blue arrow (5 ft or so) eventually become more dense if planted in a high-sun area?

Keith Patterson

Does the Blue Arrow Juniper have roots that stay up at the surface or do they aim downward when they spread? If they stay high, how far will they go? We are looking for something compact to plant in a landscape bed that has lava rock instead of mulch. In order to dig down several inches to get all the old mulch out and put down the weed barrier, we have to get rid of a couple of poorly chosen trees that have wide spreading surface roots. This tree looks like the perfect choice for the space IF it doesn't present that same issue.