|The Alligator Juniper is a member of the Cypress
Family. It is a large tree which grows to 50 feet in
with a trunk to 4 feet in diameter. The tree is easily identified by its
bark, which becomes deeply fissured with age to form squares one to two
inches on a side. Needles are blue-green in color and scaly and grow to
1/16 inch in length. The Alligator Juniper typically grows in oak and
pinyon-juniper woodlands at elevations between 4500 and 8000 feet.
Alligator Juniper is also known
as the Western Juniper or Checkered-bark Juniper.
The cones of the tree appear as waxy grayish berries
to 0.5 inches in diameter. Each cone, which provides food for some
wildlife, contains 4 seeds which mature the second year after they form
on the tree.