Sutton Massachusetts





Juniper

The Juniper tree, or Juniperus, is found all over both the old world and new. There are a variety of types of juniper. It's not rampant in Sutton, but there are some juniper trees that are found in a few places. This particular tree was spotted at the boat ramp at Manchaug Pond, on the right side while facing the pond. It's worth noting that in a large forest of pine trees here, I only saw one single juniper tree.

Juniper is used to make gin, and the word "gin" comes from the French word for juniper. Many cultures use juniper berries as a contraceptive. The berries are small and dark purple in color. The wood was used for bows.

This juniper in my photos is probably a Juniperus virginiana which is found all over the eastern US. When these juniper plants are small, the needles are sharp and pointy, almost like rose bush thorns. As the plant grows older, the needles become softer and rounder, almost scaly in appearance. These photos were taken in late October, and those small golden items are the cones growing. That means this is a male plant.

I apologize for these first few photos being blurry - I was still using my water camera for them after an afternoon of kayaking.

Juniper tree photo

Juniper tree photo

Juniper tree photo

I took off a branch to bring home and get better photos. You can see how the leaves are scaly, almost like a snake skin.

Juniper tree photo

Juniper tree photo

Juniper tree photo

Juniper tree photo

Also, they somehow give off splinters quite easily! I had two splinters just in my casual handling of the branch.

Trees of Sutton Massachusetts

Massachusetts Foliage Photo Collection
Sutton Massachusetts Photo Album