The Western Juniper; What most conservationists opt not to observe. 

          One plant can suck up to 40 gallons of water a day from the arid desert soil. Such profligate consumption can squeeze grass production down to 100 pounds per acre in areas that otherwise produce 1,000 pounds, said Tony Svejcar, lead scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center near Burns.  

          This is also true with the ecology of Central and Eastern Oregon; The Western Juniper

strangles and deprives all other species both flora and fauna of the water once available through

the consumption of other vegetation no longer available or simply sucking dry the inner bedrock

water supply.  In some cases can create a 10 ft diameter in which plant growth is inhibited by the

Juniper tree. The challenge continues to find a natural deterrence such as fire, slashing, pruning,

lopping, and scattering to control the specie while it's growth is superseding a 1.5% increase year

after year! Both DL and the other interested parties understand the importance of conserving theOld Growth. Defined by the USFS as an integral part of the ecology of Oregon's plains, grasslands and natural habitats for the preservation and conservation of Oregon's wildland beauty. 

          Old Growth Western Juniper Characteristics – these vary across trees and stands so usually several (or all) of these characteristics are required to Classify as old growth trees:

  1. Flattened, rounded, or uneven top.
  2. In open stands, large branches near the base.
  3. Dead branches, bark missing, covered by light green lichen.
  4. Thick, fibrous bark with well-developed vertical furrows.
  5. Leader growth in the upper ¼ of the tree usually <1 inch.


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