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Juniperus osteosperma

Utah juniper

Utah juniper is a widely distributed juniper that grows in the Intermountain region of western North America. It is a major indicator tree in the pinyon-juniper life zone. J. osteosperma is a bushy and freely branching small tree that rarely reaches heights taller than 15 feet. This juniper along with pinyon pine is the most widely distributed tree in the southwest covering millions of acres. It typically grows either in pure stands or with pinyon pine.

Pinyon-Juniper Life Zone - Canyonland, Utah Utah juniper - VT Denrology
Photos by Steve Nix / VT Dendrology

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Quick Stats
Common Names: Utah juniper, sabina, cedro, desert cedar, and sabina morena .

Habitat: Utah juniper grows in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming at 1300-2600 m elevation on dry, rocky soils and slopes. It is the dominant juniper of Utah

Description: Utah juniper has marble-sized berries that are bluish with a powdery coating. The bark sheds in thin gray-brown strips. Smooth branches are spreading to ascending with erect branchlets which are 3-4-sided in cross section.

Fire Effects On Utah Juniper
(courtesy of U.S. Forest Service, Fire Effects)

From Virginia Tech w/Photos
(Big List courtesy of VT Dendrology)

North American Timber Types
(courtesy About Forestry)

The Great American Coniferous Forest
(courtesy About Forestry)

Utah Juniper Project
(courtesy of University of Arizona)

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