We live in the High Desert of Central Oregon, so Juniper trees are very prevalent. When they die, many people don’t cut them down because we consider them art. This one is part of a garden in the front driveway of a home I have listed for sale in Redmond, Oregon. I might not have taken the best picture of it, but this still shows how beautiful the shape of the trees are. Earlier in the year it had a lush green vine growing on it.
We saved an old Juniper tree in our backyard, too. The bird feeder is there, so it’s where the birds hang out and tweet all day long. Because it doesn’t have full, filled in branches, we can see every bird that’s visiting. Ours also has a piece of very old barbed wire twisted around it from when our lot was part of a huge ranch. History and beauty combined.
The branch up to the left in the picture above is a live Juniper tree that has a virus, hence the round shaped growths on the sparse branches. You can cut these out and the tree will survive. The forest behind is part of my friend’s 15 acres and is where her children played growing up. Set on the edge of canyon, the Juniper trees stretch from the rural road all the way down into the canyon and up the other side.
The only downside of Junipers is that we locals consider them weeds! They have very deep root systems, so they suck the water from our wells and because we already live in the desert, water is very important here. Many homeowners work with conservation groups to remove Junipers and replace them with more native species that host wildlife, don’t take as much water, and help with forest fire prevention. Junipers burn very fast and hot, which is not good.
The Juniper tree above has been saved from becoming firewood because it’s considered natural art – perfect in the High Desert!