In this study, the effectiveness of management measures aimed at promoting recruitment in the last large Flemish juniper population at Heiderbos is evaluated. We resurveyed demographic plots 23 years after their establishment in 1980 and linked the population changes with detailed records of the intensive management during the same period. Between 1980 and 2003 the population size has decreased by 36% and has changed from a relatively immature to a mature population with very few young individuals. Based on a simple model that simulated height growth between 1980 and 2003, the recruitment and mortality rates were estimated to be 5 and 24 ha(-1) yr(-1) respectively. Intensive management has thus not been able to promote recruitment and the population might go extinct within 40 years if these rates remain unchanged. Furthermore, some measures, notably the working of the soil, have increased mortality of established junipers. The reasons for the limited recruitment are not entirely clear yet, but it may be due to a combination of the limited availability of bare ground for germination and the extremely low viability of juniper seeds. The latter fact may be a common characteristic of many threatened juniper populations in northwestern Europe. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.