How to Identify Juniper Trees


Juniper trees are members of the cedar family and the wood of the juniper is used for many purposes. Many people don’t realize that juniper trees are a cedar tree because they are an evergreen, unlike the rest of the cedar family. Juniper trees are very resilient and can last through times of drought. Juniper trees can grow just about anywhere and thrive in a variety of conditions.

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  • Gloves
  • Examine the tree or shrub for thick needles. The juniper tree is an evergreen and has soft needles instead of leaves. The needles of a juniper tree are rather short and grow in clusters close to the branches. There are different types of juniper trees and they range in height from low ground-covering bushes to trees that grow to approximately 30 feet.

  • Look for small, blue berries at the end of the branches. These berries are what identify juniper trees from other cedar trees. The berries are very strong with cedar smell.

  • Inspect the branches and trunk for sap. Juniper trees leak a sticky, resinous sap from the trunk and along the branches. This sap will smell strongly of aged cedar.

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  • Photo Credit Utah Juniper image by Carol Hyman from
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