In the days when both juniper and the Gaelic language were more widespread in the Scottish Highlands, the names for this shrub or small tree were Aittin or Aiten, and Samh. Tree ring counts indicated that above-ground portions of these trees were 15-35 years old. But through the years I turned thousands of pieces as a woodturner, making my living from the free resource surrounding me. People enjoyed the aromatic wood and kept it in the house to dispel moths and insects, though I never knew whether it actually would. This oil has terpenes, flavonoid glycosides, sugar, tannins, tar, and resin, with terpinen-4-ol, a diuretic compound, held to stimulate the kidneys and the flavonoid amentoflavone held to have antiviral properties (Wurges 2005). Wood chips were then stored in cellulose bags and transferred to College Station for gasification trials.
Peppermint oil is well-known for relaxing the intestinal tract, making it highly effective in combating nausea, digestive problems, and heartburn. An effort by two Oregon sustainability titans to better harvest and utilize juniper from public lands has earned approval from the state’s top rungs. Perhaps most importantly, juniper trees provide shade for humans, wildlife, and livestock on some of the hottest sites of the pinyon-juniper woodland. Juniper berries are used for culinary and medicinal purposes, and the tree itself is used for lumber and aesthetic purposes.
Individuals should stop taking juniper at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery to prevent blood sugar concerns. The juniper oil extraction process uses patented technologies which involve steam and pressure. The antiseptic properties in juniper disinfect the urinary tract to provide treatment and relief for conditions like urinary tract infections, urethritis, kidney stones, and bladder stones. Begin by pruning away the side-twigs from the juniper branches and making sure none of the remaining branches are thicker than the machine is rated for.
Using a black, landscape fabric catches the heat of the sun, warming up the soil beneath it sooner than usual, and keeping the soil a little warmer at night, making it possible to plant out watermelons and other heat-loving crops a little sooner than you otherwise would be able to, giving them a longer growing season to develop and ripen. Older juniper can dry out soils, which eventually takes away food from various wildlife including deer and elk.
You’ll notice that pine, juniper, and cedar are on the list, even though wood chip mulches are often made from these woods. I use a hand axe to rough out the stave and a rasp to clean up. This is the easy part….ashe juniper splits easily and responds extremely well to hand tools. The berries also have been used as a traditional remedy for cancer, arthritis, rheumatism, bronchitis, tuberculosis, and gout, and doctors often chewed juniper berries when treating patients to prevent infection (Wurges 2005). It is for its culinary, medicinal and ritual properties that juniper is best known. Juniper bark open twined matting, for example, was in burials, perhaps as shrouds.
Old ranchers I knew had used Juniper fence posts from old or virgin-growth Ashe junipers for more than 50 years. They were paid up to $15 per acre for juniper control efforts (with payments capped at $3500 per year per ranch). Both wood chips and shredded bark are a high carbon-to-nitrogen material, so they’re great if you use them on top of the soil as a mulch, but DON’T dig them into your soil. I don’t have any specific first hand knowledge about the qualities of many wood species being a more than relative newbie.
Hawks and other sage grouse predators perch in western juniper trees, which also suck up prodigious amounts of water — up to 30 gallons a day, by some estimates. Carried or worn as a charm, this wood will enhance female beauty and feminine grace. As juniper steps onto the modern stage as a beautiful and local resource, Juniper movement is manageable. Navajo women painstakingly collect and drill holes in the seeds, making lovely necklaces, plain or with colored seed beads. This wood is highly recommended for any purpose combating illness or promoting good health.
This wood has very different characteristics than other common species, so adjust your plans and technique to accommodate, and then enjoy the results! The wood was also made into the base for a fire drill and the bark for tinder; they also used the leaves stuffed in buckskin to make a ball like the one used for a lacrosse type game (Paiute). But if some grass comes through, just pull it out by hand, taking care to bring the roots with it. Over time, hopefully, the mulch will keep the grass down and the dogwood tree growing well. After making an offering, harvest small tips of branches of juniper and let them dry.
The association of juniper with Sigel may also be the belief underlying the Central European folk practice mentioned earlier of burning juniper berries in houses in the days leading up to Beltane – ie as a magickal rite intended to welcome in the summer half of the year. It is best, if you’re making compost yourself, to make sure the pile is turned regularly so it gets as hot as possible, to try to kill any weed seed that may have made it into the compost pile.
Rawat YS, Oinam SS, Vishvakarma SCR, Kuniyal CP, Kuniyal JC, et al. (2006) Willow (Salixfragilis Linn.): a multipurpose tree species under pest attack in the cold desert of Lahaul valley, north-western Himalaya, India. Medicine: The berries, bark, needles, and wood were all used traditionally in a variety of decoctions, infusions, poultices, and burning smoke preparations.
Juniper fence posts and stays are the second most important commercial product manufactured from Ashe juniper on the Edwards Plateau. Individually custom designed, meticulously hand crafted wooden rings by British Columbia artist and craftsman David Finch; pioneer of the bent wood ring. Pinyon and juniper wood was also a major source for fuel for mining operations in the 1800s, and continues to be widely used for domestic heating and cooking today. Juniper oil is also very good for those who are suffering from chronic gas trouble.
Some have hypothesized that livestock grazing has aided the spread of juniper into grasslands by reducing the density of grasses and palatable shrubs that compete with juniper seedlings for soil moisture, nutrients, and other limiting factors (Johnsen 1962). Chalker-Scott doesn’t address it because a) juniper mulch is not common in her area (PNW) and b) it is just not a problem.