This Gold Coast Juniper is planted a bit close to the walkway, but for a reason. The walkway traverses along the precipice of a steep slope. There isn’t much room near the path to plant and we wanted a dense planting to discourage people from going near the slope’s drop-off.
Gold Coast Juniper is a compact, spreading plant, and unlike many of the other junipers it has softer foliage. With a mature height of around 18 to 24″, it should serve well as buffer/barrier to the slope.
Some Planting Design Needs Gentle Persuasion
You know I always talk about selecting plants to suit the situation. Always consider their characteristics (i.e. size potential, growth habit, exposure, etc.) and the design intent. Sometimes the “fit” is not perfect and you must gently persuade the plant to work in that space.
The use of Gold Coast Juniper along this walkway is an example of this. The juniper lends itself to fairly aggressive pruning and therefore, can be persuaded each season to stay within the space.
I don’t recommend you create too many circumstances like this because it puts an extra burden on the maintenance aspect.
If the plant care is under your supervision it’s usually not a problem. If there’s another company involved there is the possibility that the pruning will be done incorrectly or neglected entirely.
So What’s The Best Way To Prune Gold Coast Juniper?
There is only one right answer to this question…prune selectively.
In the first picture at the top I’ve indicated points where selective cuts should be made. The second picture shows a bypass hand pruner making one of those cuts.
Here are some of the things we wish to accomplish by selectively pruning these Gold Coast Juniper:
- Contain the plant within the allowable space.
- Encourage the plant to grow full and compact.
- Extend the life and usefulness of this plant in this “less than ideal” circumstance.
This type of pruning program should be started soon after planting. This early start gives it the structure it will need to work in this space for many years to come.
There are some interesting uses of plants out there because of pruning tactics. If you have one let’s hear about it. Use the comments box below.