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Juniperus chinensis 'Torulosa': 'Torulosa' Juniper1

Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson 2


Torulosa Juniper grows into a narrow cone shape when young, then opens up as the plant ages. Although the main body of its foliage is as thick as if it had been sheared, delicately twisted, upright branches emerge gracefully all around the plant, in almost a flame-like manner. It may grow to 15 feet tall in 15 years, perhaps leaning to one side in a picturesque manner. Do not expect a row of them to provide a uniform shape since crown form varies.

Figure 1. Middle-aged Juniperus chinensis 'Torulosa': 'Torulosa' Juniper
Figure 1.  Middle-aged Juniperus chinensis 'Torulosa': 'Torulosa' Juniper
Credit: Ed Gilman, UF/IFAS

General Information

Scientific name: Juniperus chinensis
Pronunciation: joo-NIP-er-us chih-NEN-sis
Common name(s): 'Torulosa' Juniper
Family: Cupressaceae
USDA hardiness zones: 5B through 11 (Fig. 2)
Origin: not native to North America
Invasive potential: little invasive potential
Uses: specimen; screen; container or planter; espalier; highway median
Availability: not native to North America

Figure 2. Range
Figure 2.  Range


Height: 10 to 15 feet
Spread: 6 to 10 feet
Crown uniformity: irregular
Crown shape: pyramidal, upright/erect
Crown density: open
Growth rate: moderate
Texture: fine


Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: entire
Leaf shape: scale-like
Leaf venation: none, or difficult to see
Leaf type and persistence: evergreen, fragrant
Leaf blade length: less than 2 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: no color change
Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: brown, yellow, green
Flower characteristics: not showy


Fruit shape: cone, oval, round
Fruit length: less than .5 inch
Fruit covering: dry or hard
Fruit color: blue
Fruit characteristics: does not attract wildlife; not showy; fruit/leaves not a litter problem

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: branches don't droop; not showy; typically multi-trunked; thorns
Pruning requirement: little required
Breakage: resistant
Current year twig color: green
Current year twig thickness: thin
Wood specific gravity: unknown


Light requirement: full sun, partial sun, or partial shade
Soil tolerances: sand; loam; clay; alkaline; acidic; well-drained
Drought tolerance: high
Aerosol salt tolerance: high


Roots: not a problem
Winter interest: no
Outstanding tree: no
Ozone sensitivity: unknown
Verticillium wilt susceptibility: resistant
Pest resistance: resistant to pests/diseases

Use and Management

Torulosa juniper develops into a showcase specimen without pruning and is probably best used for this purpose. Planted on 4- to 6-foot centers, it can develop into a thick screen which could be useful along a driveway, where a narrow, bright green screen is often needed to create privacy.

Growing best in full sun, more open in partial shade, torulosa juniper needs well-drained soil or it will decline from root rot. It tolerates alkaline soil and is quite drought-tolerant but root regeneration is slow after transplanting from a field nursery. It is frequently offered in containers from a nursery.

Torulosa juniper can be propagated by cuttings.


Mites and bagworms can infest the foliage.


Torulosa juniper is susceptible to root rot and bacterial blight.


1. This document is ENH-481, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 1993. Revised December 2006. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at
2. Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; and Dennis G. Watson, former associate professor, Agricultural Engineering Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville FL 32611.

Publication #ENH-481

Release Date:September 12, 2014

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