Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Junipers

I am going to take a moment here to share some trees while they are still standing. Most of the Eastern Red Juniper (also known as Easter Red Cedar or simply Cedar locally) that I see are in fields or along fence rows. Free standing trees such as these are heavily limbed from top to bottom, have no true trunk and are extremely knotty when milled. Forest trees are much more desirable for wood, as they usually have true trunks. I only know of a few standing groves of pure juniper, as they are usually found mixed among deciduous forests. If trees grow in barren rocky conditions they will have almost pure red heartwood, with just a tiny band of sapwood. Those trees grow very slowly and produce excellent rot resistant timber/posts. What I am currently cutting is in upper lowland, these trees can grow to tremendous size for their species, up to 36 inches. But they are somewhat cursed by containing more sapwood, sapwood mixed with heartwood, ingrown bark, and other defects. The top left photo shows an average fence tree, bottom left is an old fence tree with almost perfect form yet half doty, bottom right shows a true trunk on a ~24" juniper. The very bottom picture shows a couple of lowland forest junipers .

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