New standards for western juniper wood boost market potential for invasive tree

Juniper testing

Oregon State University scientists have concluded an exhaustive series of tests on western juniper lumber and opened the door to commercial wood markets for an invasive tree that has spread widely across central and eastern Oregon and other parts of the Great Basin. “I’ve gotten calls from people in transportation departments who wanted to use western juniper for sign posts or guard-rail blocks,” said Scott Leavengood, director of the Oregon Wood Innovation Center at Oregon State. “But when they checked the design specification book, they’d discover that western juniper isn’t even mentioned, so they couldn’t use it. That’s because the testing hadn’t been done.”