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The Western Juniper J


J. occidentalis, Hook.

The giant of its race is the Western juniper, one of the patriarchial trees of America, ranking in age with the sequoias. Never a tall tree, it yet attains a trunk diameter of ten feet, and an age that surely exceeds two thousand years. At elevations of seven to ten thousand feet this valiant red cedar is found clinging to the granite domes and bare glacial pavements where soil and moisture seem absolutely non-existent. Sunshine and thin air are abundant, however, and elbow room. Upon these com modities the tree subsists, crouching, stubbornly clinging, while a single root offers foothold, its gnarled branches picturesque and beautiful in their tufts of gray-green leaves. Avalanches have beheaded the oldest of these

giants, but their denuded trunks throw out wisps of new foliage with each returning spring. When they suc cumb, their trunks last almost as long as the granite boulders among which they are cast by the wind or the ice-burden that tore them loose.

The stringy bark is woven into cloth and matting by the Indians, and the fine-grained, hard, red wood finds no better use than for the mountaineer's fencing and fuel.

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