An Illustrated Guide to ARIZONA WEEDS

The University of Arizona Press

JUNIPER

Illustration

CYPRESS FAMILY-Cupressaceae

JUNIPER, redcedar-Juniperus spp.

DESCRIPTION-Aromatic trees or shrubs with short overlapping sharp-pointed leaves, about 1/16 inch long with green berrylike cones; reproducing by seed and often by stump sprouts. The "berries," 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter, are relished by birds and other wild animals. Livestock may eat the foliage, but usually do so only when other feed is scarce. Large amounts may cause abortion in livestock.

DISTRIBUTION-In northern and central Arizona below the ponderosa pines, junipers often form pure forests or mixed pinyon-juniper-oak associations. They are a serious range and watershed problem in large grassland areas on the Mogollon Rim north of Prescott, and on the Apache Indian Reservation. Junipers are long-lived trees; the average age is about 500 to 600 years, and the maximum is about 1,600 years.

UTAH JUNIPER-Juniperus osteosperma(Torr.) Little

DESCRIPTION-Utah juniper usually is a small round tree 10 to 15 feet high with a single trunk, or if branched, the branches arise several feet above the ground. The "berries" contain 1 or 2 seeds, and may be produced on all of the trees. Its wood is used in making fence posts.

DISTRIBUTION-The most abundant juniper in the state, Utah juniper is wide- spread over northern and central Arizona, but does not occur in the southern part; 3,000 to 7,500 feet elevation.

ONESEED JUNIPER-Juniperus monosperma (Engelm.) Sarg.

DESCRIPTION-Oneseed juniper usually is shrubby, 10 to 25 feet high with several curved limbs arising near the ground level, and only rarely a tree with a single trunk. Like Utah juniper, the bark is stringy and the "berries" contain 1 or 2 seeds, but unlike it, the "berries" and the pollen occur on different trees.

DISTRIBUTION-Common in the desert grassland and pinyon-juniper ranges in southeastern and northcentral Arizona, but does not occur in the western or upper northern portions; often growing with Utah juniper; 3,000 to 7,000 feet elevation.

ALLIGATOR JUNIPER, checker bark juniper-Juniperus deppeana Steud.

DESCRIPTION-Alligator juniper, the largest in Arizona, is a tree 20 to 40 or sometimes 65 feet high, with a trunk 1 to 3 or rarely 7 feet in diameter. It often stump sprouts, and the thick, dark gray bark becomes deeply checkered. The "berries" contain 3 or 4 seeds.

DISTRIBUTION-Well-distributed in central and southeastern Arizona, alligator juniper extends from southwestern Coconino and northwestern Yavapai counties to Greenlee County, and west to the Baboquivari Mountains in Pima County; 4,200 to 8,000 feet elevation.

Copyright (c) 1972 The Arizona Board of Regents



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