Alligator juniper is native throughout the West and Southwest. Typically, it grows from 20 to 30 feet tall. The Prescott National Forest lays claim to the largest measured alligator juniper, which is 46 feet tall and is 27 feet, 4 inches around. Larger trees may reach 500 to 800 years of age. Mature trees have deeply furrowed bark broken into square plates, 1-2 inches in size, that resemble alligator skin.
Alligator junipers are the least common of the junipers in the pinyon-juniper vegetation type. Their fruit are an important food source for wildlife and the wood is used for fence posts and firewood.
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