The Utah Juniper is a common evergreen tree of dry valleys and drained slopes of the southwestern US.
It grows to heights of 15-30 ft/4.5-9 m in elevations between 3,000-8,500 ft/900-2600 m.
The Utah Juniper has one or more short trunks and many gnarled, dead-looking branches and limbs. This is an adaptation to desert drought conditions when the tree can cut off water to some of its branches. They will die, but others will continue to live and grow.
The leaves are tiny at only 1/16 in/ 1.5 mm long and are scalelike.
They grow in groups of four and are yellow-green in colour.
The bark varies in colour from reddish- to grayish-brown and shreds off in long strips.
The tree develops a crown of branches which become gnarled with age.
The specially adapted cones look like bluish berries, which they are not. They are about .5 in/1.25 cm wide and have a waxy covering which is drought resistant.
The cones have one seed.