Rocky Mountain Juniper
Young juniper trees are easily killed by fire primarily because of their small size, thin bark, and compact crown. Fire has long been recognized as a means to control this species because juniper does not resprout. Often young trees are killed just by scorching the crown and stem. As juniper ages, the bark thickens and the crown develops a bushy, open form. A hot fire can kill or severely damage such a tree, but the same tree may survive a cool fire. Low, spreading branches can provide a route for fire to enter the crown, thereby increasing the potential for damage. Often large junipers have survived a number of fires (four to six). The different effects of fire on young and old juniper trees are largely a function of the site. The species commonly occupies dry environments that support limited undergrowth. When surface fuels are sparse, fire damage is minimal.