Blue Arrow Juniper? Problems To Avoid (& Why These Juniper Trees Are Better)

Woman with her hand on her hip looking at a Blue arrow juniper tree wonders about blue arrow juniper problems, how to grow juniper, blue arrow trees for a blue arrow juniper privacy screen & more.

Several Blue Arrow Juniper varieties and similar plants are ideal for landscaping, fencing, and privacy hedges. But, if you are considering planting them, there are some critical details about their features and possible problems you should know.

Without a doubt, these Juniper trees are a better choice for gardeners and homeowners who are looking for hedges and tree breaks that reach a specific height. But they also provide lovely color to any landscape (year round), are easy to grow, and can be planted in a number of growing zones.

However, with all trees, susceptibility to certain pests and diseases are problems that can be avoided with the correct care.

This complete tree guide outlines on all the fantastic qualities of the Blue Arrow Juniper tree, as well as how to protect it from pests and problems, so that your evergreen trees flourish.

What Is the Juniper Blue Arrow?

Considering how many tree species are there, you may wonder why the Blue Arrow Juniper is a favorite among homeowners.9

As one of the types of evergreen trees, it doesn’t disappoint if you are looking for a beautiful, evergreen, narrow, upright tree that doesn’t grow excessively tall, reaching only a height of 10-15 feet.4

It is cold-hardy and extends only 2 feet wide, ideal for narrow spaces.

It gives your landscaping a formal and Mediterranean feel and becomes a stunning Christmas tree for the outdoors. And, its pyramid shape and the bluish-green foliage explains how it got its name.

Blue Arrow Juniper, Rocky Mountain Juniper, Wichita Blue

(Juniperus scopulorum)

Blue Arrow Juniper tree in oval frame on green background.
  • Family: Cupressaceae
  • Genus: Juniperus
  • Leaf: Bluish-green, needle-like, measuring 1-3 mm long
  • Bark: Reddish brown, shedding in thin strands
  • Seed: 4-5 Millimeter wide, enclosed in a seed cone
  • Blossoms: Yellow or green blooming in spring
  • Fruit: Round blue berry, measuring an inch wide
  • Native Habitat: North western America and Western Canada
  • Height: 10-15 Feet
  • Canopy: Low canopy, measuring 1-2 feet wide
  • Type: Deciduous 
  • Other Fact: It grows in hardiness zones 4-9, has a medium growth rate, and grows into a slender, tall, pyramid-like tree. 

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Ranking

Least Concern


How To Identify Blue Arrow Juniper

The Blue Arrow Juniper is an excellent landscaping tree that grows tall and upright, known for its bright powdery bluish leaves and berries. It is a common tree for screening and creating a stunning, dense, evergreen fence.

Otherwise called the Blue Point Juniper, the tree takes a pyramidal shape as it grows, and the bluish shade makes it stand out from other varieties. With ample space at the base, the Juniper can avoid overcrowding and reach 8 feet wide and over 12 feet high, but realistically, 4 feet wide base is the norm.

The fastest way to identify the Blue arrow is through its physical features. For instance, it has a reddish-brown bark that peels in thin strands and has needle-like leaves.

Blue Arrow Juniper tree identification showing Blue Arrow Juniper tree leaves, Blue Arrow Juniper tree flowers, and Blue Arrow Juniper tree fruit images in circle frames on a green background and an image of two fully grown Blue Arrow Juniper tree.

When mature, the foliage takes silvery-blue and dark green shades, while the ripe fruits are round, waxy, and bluish-purple, while the unripe ones are green.

Related Reading: Types of Pine Trees (Pictures): Identification Guide (Chart)

Blue Arrow Juniper Problems and Resistant Alternatives

All juniper trees are known for being hardy and surviving extreme weather, heat, and drought. This makes the Blue Arrow Juniper a favorite with many gardeners.

Despite adapting to such punishing conditions, they are still susceptible to insect infestation and diseases that cause browning and death of branches.

One of the best ways to deal with such issues is to consider resistant juniper varieties. The following is a breakdown of the most common problems, how to avoid them, as well as some species that can be used as a substitute for the Blue Arrow tree.

Fungi Diseases

Fungal diseases that infect the Blue Arrow are typically caused by lack of airflow.

For this reason, it’s crucial to plant the trees far enough away from fences and other buildings, so that they receive full sunlight (at least 6 hours) and have enough space between them to allow for ventilation.

This list outlines some of the most common fungal infections that can impact the Blue Arrow tree.

1. Tip Blight

Leaf browning is one of the most common issues with junipers and other types of trees, particularly those for landscaping.

Any tree is vulnerable regardless of age. You will first detect it by needle discoloration, which can advance to infecting entire branches or killing the tree in extreme cases.

A Pine tree species showing signs of Tip Blight, foliage with some needles turning brown.

(Image: Campbell, Rebecca12)

Plants undergoing stress from the weather or heat are more likely to have Tip Blight or Phomopsis. You can regularly trim affected parts to protect your tree from this problem and check that there are no stressful conditions, particularly excessive and overhead watering.

Proper spacing when planting also helps as it improves air circulation. The Juniperus species that are more resistant to tip blight include various species of the Chinese Juniper, Creeping Juniper, Singleseed Juniper, and Common Juniper.

A Juniper tree species showing signs of Cedar-Apple Rust, a brown gall growing among the Juniper leaves.

(Image: Jefferson, Kamren13)

2. Cedar-Apple Rust

This problem occurs when the juniper and apple hosts are present, noticeable by rust spots on the apple’s leaves.

You will hardly detect them in the winter since they take greenish-brown shades in various sizes up to 2 inches wide.

They are more pronounced in spring when orange spores of around four inches emerge from the surface of the rust. The particles released can transfer in the wind and rain, quickly infecting nearby hosts, and the process continues, often leading to the death of juniper branches.

To avoid this fatal disease, it is best to avoid planting the two hosts in one place and remove the spores in winter before they grow bigger. The Chinese Juniper, the Common Juniper, and the Virginian Juniper (Skyrocket) are the resistant varieties that do better than the Blue Arrow.

3. Cedar-Hawthorn Rust

This disease is like Cedar-Apple Rust since it needs two hosts to manifest, the juniper and rose species (Crabapple, Apple, and Hawthorn).

A Hawthorn tree foliage showing signs of Cedar-Hawthorn Rust, leaves are covered in mature galls.

(Image: Nelson, Scot14)

The spores from the roses infect the junipers during summer, but the challenge is that the symptoms are challenging to detect in winter.

You will only see the protruding spores from the round red galls in spring, which are smaller than the Cedar-Apple Rust galls. Another similarity is that they transfer through the wind, infecting the hosts and causing Twig Dieback.

The prevention measures are also the same;11 avoid planting two hosts in the same spot and remove the galls early before winter ends. Comparatively, the Chinese Juniper, Common Juniper, and Savin Juniper are better adapted to fight off the infection.

Insect Infestations

Pest attacks on your trees are tasking to prevent, although some junipers, like Virginian species, contain toxic insect-repelling chemicals.

Moreover, there are many eco-friendly (and child and pet friendly) remedies that can be used to fight infestations.

1. Aphids

Aphids are infamous for attacking trees and feeding on their sweet sap, leaving behind a weak, unappealing tree, an irreversible condition.

These pests will likely infest the Blue Arrows in May or June; the best remedy is to use insecticidal soap, malathion, or imidacloprid in the correct dosages.

2. Bagworm

These insects appear as spindle-like bags hanging on the Blue Arrow Juniper.

The bags travel with the larvae when they are feeding before they transform into moths.

If the infestation is severe, the tree can lose some or all its leaves, but you can control them by spraying compounds like Spinosad.

3. Juniper Webworm

Small junipers are vulnerable to the webworm,7 which binds the leaves and branches. The caterpillar larva measures half an inch long, while the 5/8″ moths often appear in June.

You can also eliminate them using the recommended insecticides according to your region.

4. Red Cedar Bark Beetle

These beetles will attack trees that live in stressful conditions like inadequate sunlight. They measure 1/16” long and target the plant’s bark.

Luckily you can prevent further damage by removing severely damaged trees.

Blue Arrow Juniper Privacy Screen and Landscaping Attributes

This unique juniper is a dwarf variety compared to other giant species from the same family. It is famous among homeowners as an ornamental and landscaping tree, thanks to its bluish hues and evergreen leaves.

Despite the harsh conditions, it retains its color all year round, including in winter (Image17).

Home garden with different trees and plants including Blue Arrow Juniper tree, with bluish-green needles and pyramidal-shape.

(Image: Breen, Patrick17)

The foliage grows dense from several stems, and the tree has narrow column-like growth making it a fine addition to your house, whether planting it in the front or backyard. You can use it in gardens or as a foundation plant in containers like types of bonsai trees.

However, the juniper requires extra care and maintenance to maintain its fantastic look; it needs pruning, especially towards the end of winter.

Its landscaping attributes will come in handy when you need an accent tree, screening, or a striking plant to grow in your garden.3

Blue Arrow Juniper vs Skyrocket Juniper

Experts often recommend mountain junipers as some of the best privacy trees.

Therefore, what’s the difference between Juniper Blue Arrow and Skyrocket?8

The Skyrocket Grows Wider

While the two can grow to almost the same height, the glaring disparity is how the Skyrocket grows broadly.

It can extend 5 feet wide, but the Blue Arrow Juniper doesn’t usually surpass 2 feet. Therefore, the Skyrocket needs more regular pruning to maintain its pyramidal shape.

The Skyrocket Grows Faster

Registering a yearly growth spurt of 16-18 inches, the Skyrocket is the faster grower, unlike the Blue Arrow, which reaches about 10 inches annually. The two will grow to the same height, but the blue arrow may take longer to attain the maximum level.

On the positive side, this feature ensures that the red cedar’s branches grow sturdier since they take their time to thicken. There is no risk of damage, unlike with the Skyrocket, whose twigs can bend during heavy rainfall and snow.

They Come in Different Foliage Colors

Looking closely at the two mountain junipers, you will notice that their leaves are in different colors. The Skyrocket has grayish-green foliage that appears a bit silvery, which gets brighter when the sun hits it.

In contrast, as the name states, the Blue Arrow takes a bluish-green shade. These hues are from the wax that forms on the needles to protect the leaves from excessive sunlight, and you will notice that the less the sun’s rays, the more the juniper appears greener.

The two trees may look different, but they are pretty similar. For one, they are members of the Juniperus scopulorum, which grow in rocky regions in well-drained soils.

They have the exact growing needs, from watering, sunlight hours, watering needs, and more.5

Native Region and Habitat Growing Needs of the Blue Arrow Juniper

The Blue Arrow Juniper is native to the western parts of Canada and the United States, extending to some regions in northern Mexico. It usually grows in the rocky regions of North America, hence the common name Rocky Mountain Juniper.

It can survive the harsh cold and drought of its native region, making it quite hardy.

Additionally, it is not picky about the soil type and can go without water for extended periods since it has adapted to drought.

Rocky Mountain Juniper tree showing its green leaves and blue round pine cones.

(Image: USDA NRCS Montana16)

This feature makes it perfect if you need an easy-maintenance option.2

Like other junipers, the Blue Arrow loves the sun and needs about 6 hours daily; otherwise, its leaves will show signs of stress.

Generally, the species is resilient and easy to maintain, staying evergreen for the entire year and rejuvenating your landscape.

Blue Arrow Juniper Growing Needs

Like other trees, junipers need maintenance to grow tall, strong, and healthy. The following are the Blue Arrow Juniper plant care basics.10


The Juniper thrives in the wild on rocky grounds and is not fussy about the soil you use for planting.

However, you will get better results with acidic, well-draining soils, especially when growing it indoors, as you do with other types of bonsai trees indoor.


Interestingly, the Juniperus is drought resistant but can survive with abundant water. You can irrigate it a few times weekly during its initial stages but gradually reduce the levels as the tree becomes independent.

Afterward, it will only need occasional watering when there is excessive heat or hardly any rain.

Note that Blue Arrow Juniper trees have adapted to water scarcity, but overwatering can be fatal, hence the need for well-draining soil.


While the hardy tree can thrive in various conditions, it must receive full sunlight. Six hours of unshaded light daily helps it grow healthier and keeps its foliage bright.

However, you can reduce the hours and provide partial shade during scorching weather, or the heat may damage the leaves.


The Blue Arrow can survive under various temperatures, allowing it to live resiliently anywhere in the country.

It can thrive under extreme cold, unlike species like the Italian Cypress, and it is drought-hardy, able to live when the temperatures are sweltering.


The Juniperus scopulorum ‘Blue Arrow,’ once it’s root system is well-established, doesn’t need a lot of fertilizing, but you can supplement the soil’s nutrients for improved growth.

It can grow more robust with a slow-release fertilizer designed for Juniper trees, but ensure that you do it only once a year or use organic compost every month.1

Pruning Needs

Blue Arrow Juniper trees don’t require a lot of pruning, like many other hedge and wind break trees. However, they should be checked regularly to retain their health.

Pruning a juniper tree is simple. Simply cut (using sharp snips) any dead branches or twigs.

You can use pruning techniques to help exaggerate the shape of the tree, but if you notice fungal infections or pests, it’s best to remove the infected area completely.

Growing Zone: Blue Arrow Juniper

Technically, the growing zones for Blue Arrow Juniper trees is 3-7, but if you plant the tree correctly, this hearty species will grow just about anywhere.

How To Plant Blue Arrow Junipers

When you purchase the juniper seedlings, follow these planting steps.

Step 1. Choose a location that will give the trees at least 6 hours of direct sunlight.

Step 2. Mark and dig holes roughly 8 feet apart to provide plenty of ventilation for the trees, and make the holes about twice as wide as the container holding the roots, and about 5 inches deeper than the container.

Step 3. Add rooting fertilizer to the holes, if desired. (It can help the trees establish themselves faster.)

Step 4. Gently remove the root ball and break loose the roots. Water can be used to help the process.

Step 5. Mix worm casting or another organically rich soil with the soil removed from the hole, about half and half ratio of old soil and new.

Step 6. Place the roots and the tree in the hole, making sure to keep the tree “crown” about an inch from the surface.

Step 7. Back-fill the hole using the soil mix you made, firmly tamping it down as you gradually fill the crevice. Don’t tamp the dirt too tightly.

Step 8. Deeply water the tree using a perforated hose and cover the exposed dirt with mulch to help retain moisture. 

How To Grow a Blue Arrow Juniper Tree From a Cutting

You can multiply your juniper population by planting seeds or propagation from stem cuttings.

During summer, you can obtain cuttings from a healthy tree and prepare the soil in a spacious container by mixing it with peat moss and water.

You can dip a rooting hormone at the end of the cutting to improve the growth before inserting it in the mix. Insert a third of it, mist the soil, and then cover the pot with plastic.

Lastly, place the container in a sunny spot, remove the plastic cover when the shoots start appearing, and wait 6-8 weeks before the cuttings root.6

Are Blue Arrow Junipers Fast-Growing?

All junipers are some of the fastest growers out of various tree types, and the rate usually depends on the particular variety and its location.

Generally, they grow fast when living in favorable conditions since all their needs are available.

Blue Arrow Juniper tree growth chart showing full grown Blue Arrow Juniper tree on a line graph with Blue Arrow Juniper tree age on the x-axis and Blue Arrow Juniper tree height on the y-axis.

Compared to other family members, the Blue Arrows are fast-moderate growers, achieving more than 10 inches annually.

How Far Apart Should I Plant Blue Arrow Juniper?

Since homeowners grow junipers as hedges or privacy screens, they place them about 3 feet apart to ensure they grow closer to each other the more they grow.

The goal is to avoid excessively cramping them or having them too far apart.

Proper spacing also helps improve air circulation to avoid the fast spreading of diseases, and if they are too close together, it helps to prune regularly to keep them in check.

Where To Buy a Blue Arrow Juniper Plant/Tree

Blue Arrow Junipers are available online from stores like Amazon or in your local plant shop. You can also seek referrals from your friends and neighbors to ensure that you obtain a healthy plant from a trusted source.

Alternatively, you can buy seeds from a store nearby and start planting from scratch, although there are better methods than this due to the long wait.

A wooden table with a bonsai Juniper tree species in a moon-shaped clay pot.

(Image: Hempel, Peter15)

The Blue Arrow Juniper is a beautiful tree native to the western parts of North America, from Canada to the US and down to North Mexico. It is known for its unique bluish needle-like leaves and how it grows slim and erect, suitable for fencing and screens around the home.

It needs full sunlight and occasional watering since it is a hardy plant that survives harsh weather. However, it is not immune to diseases and pests, and many owners are wary of tip blight, rust, and insect infestation.

All junipers are susceptible to these problems except particular species like the Chinese Juniper, Common Juniper, and Virginian Juniper. They are better choices in matters of disease-resistant, but the Blue Arrow Juniper remains stunning and highly functional with little maintenance required for a tree that will last for decades.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Blue Arrow Juniper

What Are the Other Names for Blue Arrow Juniper?

The Blue Arrow Juniper is a Juniperus scopulorum known as the Rocky Mountain Juniper. It stands out from other family members with its bluish-green leaves and unique erect, slender, pyramidal shape.

What Is the Blue Arrow Juniper Growth Rate?

The Blue Arrow Juniper is a fast grower, reaching 10-12 inches high yearly, but other species, like the Skyrocket, grow more rapidly. It grows at this rate until attaining its maximum height of 10-15 feet high and 4 feet wide, depending on the location and growing conditions.


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