Japanese Blueberry Trees

We’ve been busy this spring! Most of our backyard died with our winter freeze this year. But that’s ok because it was all overgrown and somewhat random and we were planning on redoing it this spring.  We have planted 25 (!) Japanese Blueberries and also put down over 120 bags of mulch and two pallets of St. Augustine grass.  

Honestly, I had never even heard of JBBs (what my husband and I call them now) before we did landscaping at our previous house. At that house we planted them as ball topiaries and they were so cute and I discovered very hardy (until the five days of the San Antonio Snowmageddon and even then they didn’t die they just had to be really cut back). In our new home I am planning on keeping them trimmed in their natural conical shape.  Here’s some info about these superstar trees!

The Japanese Blueberry Tree, scientifically known as Elaeocarpus decipiens, is a versatile plant native to East Asia. It thrives in evergreen forests at elevations ranging from 1,300 to 8,000 feet across Asia and Vietnam. While typically growing 20-30 feet tall, it can reach heights of up to 60 feet over time. 

This tree can be planted in both full sun and partial shade and is tolerant of cold climates up to zone 8. Its leaves start with a beautiful bronze hue before transforming into a dark, glossy green, occasionally featuring a pop of bright red. The fragrant foliage attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies. The Japanese Blueberry Tree is well-suited to various climates and is relatively resistant to pests, except for deer, who find it appealing.

As a large shrub, it is ideal for creating hedges or privacy screens on a larger scale. In the spring, it produces small white flowers, followed by blue, non-edible berries in the fall. Its natural conical shape makes it suitable for formal landscaping, but it can also be pruned for a more relaxed appearance in casual settings.