Juniperus pinchotii



INTRODUCTORY


 

Photo courtesy of J.R. Manhart

AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION:
Hauser, A. Scott. 2007. Juniperus pinchotii. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [].

FEIS ABBREVIATION:
JUNPIN

NRCS PLANT CODE [113]:
JUPI

COMMON NAMES:
Pinchot juniper
Pinchot's juniper
redberry juniper
red-berry juniper
Texas juniper
Christmas berry juniper

TAXONOMY:
The scientific name of Pinchot juniper is Juniperus pinchotii Sudw. (Cupressaceae) [22,28,38,51,52,60,83,100,120]. Pinchot juniper likely hybridizes with redberry juniper (J. coahuilensis) in the Chisos Mountains, Texas [4,28]. Pinchot juniper hybridization with Ashe juniper (J. ashei) is also reported [1,3,40,41,56,62].

SYNONYMS:
Juniperus erythrocarpa Cory [28]
Juniperus monosperma var. pinchotii (Sudworth) Van Melle [51,52,83]
Juniperus texensis Van Melle [51,52,83]

LIFE FORM:
Tree-shrub

FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS:
No special status

OTHER STATUS:
Information on state-level protected status of plants in the United States is available at Plants Database.

DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

SPECIES: Juniperus pinchotii
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION:
Pinchot juniper has a limited distribution in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It occurs in disjunct populations in west-central Texas, southeastern Oklahoma, eastern New Mexico, and Coahuila, Mexico [3,5,22,28,38,51,52,60,83,100,120,142]. The U.S. Geological Survey provides a distributional map of Pinchot juniper.

ECOSYSTEMS [31]:
FRES15 Oak-hickory
FRES31 Shinnery
FRES32 Texas savanna
FRES35 Pinyon-juniper
FRES38 Plains grasslands

STATES/PROVINCES: (key to state/province abbreviations)
UNITED STATES
NM OK TX

MEXICO
Coah.

BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS [12]:
13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont
14 Great Plains

KUCHLER [56] PLANT ASSOCIATIONS:
K031 Oak-juniper woodland
K045 Ceniza shrub
K054 Grama-tobosa prairie
K059 Trans-Pecos shrub savanna
K060 Mesquite savanna
K061 Mesquite-acacia savanna
K062 Mesquite-live oak savanna
K065 Grama-buffalo grass
K069 Bluestem-grama prairie
K071 Shinnery
K076 Blackland prairie
K082 Mosaic of K074 and K100
K084 Cross Timbers
K085 Mesquite-buffalo grass
K086 Juniper-oak savanna
K087 Mesquite-oak savanna
K088 Fayette prairie

SAF COVER TYPES [27]:
46 Eastern redcedar
66 Ashe juniper-redberry (Pinchot) juniper
67 Mohrs (shin) oak
68 Mesquite
239 Pinyon-juniper
241 Western live oak
242 Mesquite

SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES [99]:
504 Juniper-pinyon pine woodland
701 Alkali sacaton-tobosagrass
702 Black grama-alkali sacaton
703 Black grama-sideoats grama
706 Blue grama-sideoats grama
708 Bluestem-dropseed
709 Bluestem-grama
712 Galleta-alkali sacaton
713 Grama-muhly-threeawn
714 Grama-bluestem
715 Grama-buffalo grass
716 Grama-feathergrass
717 Little bluestem-Indiangrass-Texas wintergrass
718 Mesquite-grama
727 Mesquite-buffalo grass
730 Sand shinnery oak
732 Cross timbers-Texas (little bluestem-post oak)
733 Juniper-oak
734 Mesquite-oak
735 Sideoats grama-sumac-juniper

HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES:
Pinchot juniper is listed as a dominant species in the following locations and vegetation classifications:

New Mexico:

Oklahoma:

Texas:

Regions:


BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES: Juniperus pinchotii

 

Photo courtesy of Benny J. Simpson, TAMU-Dallas

GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS:
This description provides characteristics that may be relevant to fire ecology, and is not meant for identification. Keys for identification are available (e.g., [22,28,38,52,60,120]).

Pinchot juniper is a native, drought-tolerant, evergreen large shrub or small tree, from 3 to 25 feet (1-8 m) tall [22,28,38,60,100,113,120,130]. On gypsum soils in Texas, Pinchot juniper forms 3-foot-tall thickets covering several hundred acres [100]. Multiple stems arise from the base of Pinchot juniper, forming a dense clump [22,28,38,39,60,100,113,120]. The leaves are triangular-ovate, 1.5 to 2.5 mm long, 0.5 to 1.2 mm wide, and pressed together in groups of 2 or 3 [38,113]. Pinchot juniper forms seed cones, commonly referred to as "berries". Cones are 4 to 10 mm long [28,113] and bear 1 or 2 seeds [22,28,60,113,120]. From initiation of growth, cones require 1 year to reach maturation [22,28,60,120]. Pinchot juniper has a "vigorous" [95], shallow [9], lateral root system [65]. The bud zone of Pinchot juniper develops from stem meristematic tissue located in the axil of the cotyledons on newly germinated seedlings [102,103]. Pinchot juniper plants on shallow, rocky soil generally have an exposed bud zone until they are 10 to 15 years of age. On deep soils, the bud zone is generally covered by soil prior to 10 years of age [86]. Plants as old as 170 years have been identified on isolated buttes in Garza County, Texas [25,78].

Toxicity: Pinchot juniper plants contain toxic monoterpenes. Juvenile Pinchot juniper plants are lower in total monoterpenes than mature Pinchot juniper plants [108]. The toxic monoterpenes act as a defense mechanism against browsing, thereby promoting survival and reproduction of Pinchot juniper [90]. Foliage monoterpene composition data are available [1].

RAUNKIAER [88] LIFE FORM:
Phanerophyte

REGENERATION PROCESSES:
Pinchot juniper regenerates via seeds [8,71,85,98,113] and sprouting from basal buds [22,68,69,70,73,83,85,98,100,112,113].

Pollination: As of this writing (2007) information on pollination of Pinchot juniper is not available in the literature; however, it is likely wind-pollinated.

Breeding system: Pinchot juniper is typically dioecious [28,38,60,68,120], though most populations have a small percentage of monoecious individuals [68,116]. In Snyder and Borden counties, Texas, 3.9% of 258 mature Pinchot juniper trees evaluated were found to be morphologically monoecious [68].

Seed production: Pinchot juniper reproductive maturity at 2 sites (xeric upland and mesic lowland) in western Texas was more strongly correlated (r=0.59) with tree height than with age, stem diameter, crown volume, or basal area. Eighty-six percent of trees taller than 3.41 feet (1.04 m) on upland sites produced berries, compared to 78% on lowland sites. Computer models suggest that Pinchot juniper plants reach maturity at 25 years of age on upland sites and 16 years on lowland sites. However, age was a less accurate predictor of sexual maturity than tree height. A negative correlation between Pinchot juniper maturity and herbaceous cover was weak but significant (P=0.05). This suggests that increases in herbaceous cover may slow Pinchot juniper growth and maturity [68].

Mature Pinchot juniper trees produce berries nearly every year. Cones initiate growth in October and/or November and mature a year later [68]. "Large" seed crops are produced in the autumn following wet spring and summer seasons [126]. In the Rolling Plains and Edwards Plateau region of Texas, Warren and Britton [126] estimate that average Pinchot juniper seed production for 1997 and 1998 was 6,517 and 511 seeds/plant, respectively. Seventy-one percent of the seeds produced in 1997, and 82% of the 1998 seeds were not viable. The viable seeds produced in the autumn of each year did not start germinating until June, and germinated at a rate of 33% and 26% for 1997 and 1998, respectively. For seeds produced in autumn 1997, approximately 770 seeds/plant were still contained within dried berries on the plant in autumn 1998 [126].

Seed dispersal: Pinchot juniper seeds are dispersed by wildlife, livestock, wind, and surface water [8,19,34,37]. Ansley and others [8] state that Pinchot juniper seeds in grassland areas devoid of mesquite (Prosopis ssp.) are dispersed by small mammals, wind, and surface water. Where mesquite is present, birds likely disperse Pinchot juniper seeds by resting and/or perching on mesquite branches and defecating previously consumed Pinchot juniper seeds, or stopping to eat Pinchot juniper fruits on mesquite branches. Pinchot juniper seedlings are common beneath mesquite canopies in northwest Texas. In fact, Pinchot juniper seedlings often mature and eventually overtop mesquite nurse plants. Fence posts and powerlines also serve as perch sites for birds and likely account for the establishment of Pinchot juniper seedlings along fence lines in abandoned and reseeded fields. In Sonora, Texas, Pinchot juniper seeds were found in the feces of raccoon, fox, and ringtail [19].

Pinchot juniper seed passage through animal digestive tracts reduces germination. Seeds collected in western Texas directly from the plant and from coyote scat and bird droppings were planted in greenhouse. At the end of 120 days, 11% of the seeds from plants had germinated while only 3% of seeds collected from animal feces had germinated [124].

Seed banking: Pinchot juniper forms a seed bank [79,126]; however information is lacking on seed longevity. In the Rolling Plains and Edwards Plateau regions of Texas, Warren and Britton [126] estimate the subsurface Pinchot juniper seed bank size to average 68,298 seeds/plant. However, 90% of the seeds retrieved by researchers were empty and the germination rate of filled seeds was less than 1% over 1 year.

Germination: Pinchot juniper seeds germinate and emerge optimally when soils are moist and the temperature is 64 F (18 C). This suggests that germination occurs during warm, wet periods in spring and fall [8,102,113]. Smith and others [102] found that no Pinchot juniper seeds germinated at a soil temperature of 50 F (10 C) and limited germination occurred at 81 F (27 C). Seed germination may require a 120-day period of "cold" stratification [11].

Fire effects on germination: Pinchot juniper seeds can survive and germinate after fire [125]. Prior to burning, 3 groups of Pinchot juniper seeds were placed in the path of prescribed rangeland fires in Lubbock and Lamb counties, Texas, during February and March. Two groups of seeds were removed from their berries and either barely covered with soil or placed on the soil surface between and within clumps of vegetation (species not given). A third group was left in the berries and placed on the soil surface between and within clumps of vegetation. Seeds were exposed to fire for between 80 to 250 seconds. Four hours after fire exposure, the seeds were collected and placed in pots with sandy clay loam soil. At the time of the publication, seeds from all 3 groups had germinated and produced seedlings (no specific data given). Seeds covered by soil produced the most seedlings, followed by seeds left in the berries on the soil surface [125].

Seedling establishment/growth: According to PLANTS Database [113], Pinchot juniper requires 2 years of above-average precipitation for seedling establishment. However, McPherson and Wright [71] found that from 1950 to 1979 on the High Plains and Rolling Plains of Texas, most seedlings established during the 1st year of a wet (above average precipitation) 2-year period (43.0% and 44.4%, respectively). Above average precipitation for a 2-year period occurred 10 times from 1950 to 1979. The researchers note that this study took place on sites that were either continuously lightly grazed (Rolling Plains) or continuously heavily grazed (High Plains) and thus the results should not be extrapolated to ungrazed sites.

Depth of buried seed is important for Pinchot juniper seedling establishment. In a seeding trial conducted by Smith and others [102], no Pinchot juniper seedlings emerged from planting depths greater than 0.8 inch (2 cm) [102].

Blue grama has a significant (P<0.05) negative effect on the growth of Pinchot juniper seedlings. In a controlled study, Pinchot juniper seeds (100/box) were planted in boxes with 2 densities of blue grama seedlings, 2 months following blue grama seed germination. Pinchot juniper growth was significantly higher in control boxes without blue grama seedlings than in boxes with blue grama competition. No significant difference occurred between the 2 levels of blue grama grass competition [102].

Degree of competition Pinchot juniper attributes
Shoot length (cm) Root length (cm) # of stem branches # of root branches Dry weight (g/plant)
Control 31.8 97.3 28.7 51.3 4.72
16 blue grama plants 6.8 28.7 0.4 7.4 0.07
32 blue grama plants 6.7 23.1 0.0 4.0 0.05

In north-central Texas, Pinchot juniper seedling growth is stunted in the presence of sideoats grama, buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides), and tobosa (Pleuraphis mutica), but increased growth occurs under intact canopies of honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) [111]. When all grasses were removed from the site, Pinchot juniper seedling basal diameter and height significantly (P<0.01) increased. Pinchot juniper seedlings grew significantly (P<0.01) less in the presence of buffalo grass than with tobosa and/or sideoats grama. Conditions within buffalo grass communities are more stressful (lower infiltration rates and less soil surface shading) than in the taller sideoats grama and tobosa communities, which contributes to slower growth of Pinchot juniper [111].

Nurse plants: On the high plains of western Texas, Pinchot juniper establishment and persistence are facilitated by honey mesquite [18,72]. Pinchot juniper seedlings favor honey mesquite canopies due to increased nutrient availability and shading, which ameliorates extreme summer temperatures. Pinchot juniper seedlings in grasslands grew significantly (P<0.05) less in height and diameter than those under honey mesquite canopies. At sites where honey mesquite was removed, Pinchot juniper seedlings basal diameter increased significantly (P<0.05) less than when growing under honey mesquite canopies [111]. On relatively xeric sites of the High Plains of Texas, the density of small Pinchot juniper plants (<3 feet (1 m)) is significantly (P<0.05) higher under the canopies of honey mesquite than in areas devoid of the plant. In the same area, Pinchot juniper acts as a nurse plant for agarito (Mahonia trifoliolata), littleleaf sumac (Rhus microphylla), and catclaw mimosa (Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera) [72].

Vegetative regeneration: Pinchot juniper "rapidly" sprouts from basal buds following disturbances such as fire or top removal [22,69,70,83,100,113,120]. Sprouting after top removal is influenced by tree size, season of top removal, and soil type, as demonstrated by the studies summarized below.

In Garza County, Texas, Pinchot juniper plants in 5 size classes were cut to ground level in January to December. Eighty-three percent of cut plants produced some growth 1 year after cutting. Pinchot juniper basal circumference and growth were positively correlated (r=0.996), with the smallest plants producing the least growth. When analyzing month of top removal, plants cut in December produced significantly (P<0.05) more biomass 1 year later than plants cut in any other month. Plants cut in December produced approximately 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of biomass, with the second most growth occurring in plants cut in March (~0.8 pounds (375 g)). Pinchot juniper cut from April through September had significantly (P<0.01) less growth than plants cut during other time periods [96].

On the Texas Rolling Plains, Tunnell and Mitchell [112] cut 50 Pinchot juniper trees to approximately a 4-inch stump height in July 1996. By October 1997, over 90% of cut trees had sprouted. The researchers note that as tree size increases, so does the probability that it will sprout following top removal.

Pinchot juniper plants were cut to ground level on deep clay and clay loam soils in the Texas Rolling Plains and on shallow clay loam soils on the Texas High Plains. Following top removal, Pinchot juniper survival of plants less than 20 years old was significantly (P<0.01) less on shallow soils (Mean(SE)=67.1%(4.5)) than on deep soils (Mean(SE)=80.8%(2.6)). There were no significant differences in survival rate for plants older than 20 years, since at that age the basal bud zone of Pinchot juniper is sufficiently buried to ensure survival. At both sites, survival of Pinchot juniper was significantly (P<0.05) reduced by the presence of other Pinchot juniper plants and soapweed yucca (Yucca glauca) [69].

Warren and Britton [123] found that Pinchot juniper sprouts are capable of growing roots when removed from the parent plant. The researchers cut 100 six-month-old sprouts, planted them in soil, and subjected them to a light/temperature regime of 12 hours of light at 74 F (23 C) and 12 hours dark at 50 F (10 C) for 120 days. At the end of the experiment 3% of the sprouts had formed tiny roots.

SITE CHARACTERISTICS:
Pinchot juniper occurs in open flats, dry hillsides, canyons, arroyos, caprock regions, and talus slopes [28,38,43,60,83,94,100,113,120]. Prior to European settlement, Pinchot juniper occurred only on shallow, rocky sites with northwest exposures [7,21,77,92,98,105] (See Successional Status). Where Pinchot juniper encroaches on grasslands, it generally occurs on rough, broken terrain between plains, and on range sites with shallow soils along the High Plains and Rolling Plains of western Texas [105].

Climate: Pinchot juniper occurs in a subtropical climate zone with dry winters and long, hot summers [58,73,112,141].

At 2 sites (High Plains and Rolling Plains) in western Texas, Pinchot juniper establishment from 1950 to 1979 was highly correlated (r not given) with precipitation during cool spring and fall periods preceding establishment. Though Pinchot juniper seed production was not quantified, observations made by McPherson and Wright [71] indicated that substantially greater seed production occurred in 1986, when total precipitation from January to September equaled 20 inches (600 mm), than during 1984 or 1985, when total precipitation from January to September equaled 6.7 and 15 inches (170 and 390 mm), respectively. Successive years of above-average cool-season precipitation at the 2 sites prompted a significant (P<0.05) increase in Pinchot juniper establishment. Establishment was near double during these periods versus periods of normal or below normal precipitation on the High Plains (Mean(SE)=5.7%(0.9) vs. 2.1%(0.5)) and Rolling Plains (Mean(SE)=5.0%(0.6) vs. 2.6%(0.7)) [71].

Elevation: Pinchot juniper primarily occurs at elevations of 1,000 to 3,300 feet (300-1,000 m) [28,94,141]. It may, however, grow at elevations as high as 5,000 feet (1,500 m) in New Mexico [60].

Soil: Pinchot juniper primarily occurs on limestone or gypsiferous soils [22,28,38,81,83,100,127].

Pinchot juniper foliage moisture is related to available soil moisture, as influenced by soil texture. In the Texas Rolling Plains, Pinchot juniper foliage moisture content was recorded from September through November 1995.

Approximate percent moisture content in Pinchot juniper foliage and soils on 3 sites in the Texas Rolling Plains at 4 sample dates [75]

Site

clay flat sandy bottomland shallow clay
Sample date soil foliage soil foliage soil foliage
26 September 19 53 13 56 10 53
12 October 13 51 9 55 6 52
26 October 10 47 5 50 5 47
9 November 10 48 5 51 4 48

Soil and foliage moisture contents were highest in September and lowest in November. Foliage moisture was highest on sandy soils on all sampling dates, although the clay flat soil tended to have the highest total moisture content [75].

SUCCESSIONAL STATUS:
Pinchot juniper has some shade tolerance, as it can establish under the canopies of shrub live oak (Q. turbinella) and honey mesquite [72,105]. Pinchot juniper's place in the successional gradient is not discussed in the literature. However, it occurs in both early seral conditions such as burn sites [6,22,54,83,100,108,120] and late seral conditions such as isolated relict buttes in Garza County, Texas [25,78].

Species displacement: Increasing cover of Pinchot juniper on the Edwards Plateau of Texas is having a debilitating effect on herbaceous species. Dye and others [23] studied the interaction between Pinchot juniper and understory species from the stem base outward to 18 feet (6 m) beyond the canopy of Pinchot juniper. Primary herbaceous species occurring in proximity to Pinchot juniper included grasses such as Wright's threeawn (Aristida purpurea var. wrightii), red grama (Bouteloua trifida), hairy woollygrass (Erioneuron pilosum), curlymesquite (Hilaria belangeri), fall witchgrass (Digitaria cognata), Texas wintergrass (Nassella leucotricha), Texas grama (B. rigidiseta), buffalo grass, and Reverchon bristlegrass (Setaria reverchonii); and forbs such as needleleaf bluet (Houstonia acerosa var. acerosa), Parks' stoneseed (Lithospermum parksii), woody crinklemat (Tiquilia canescens), grassland croton (Croton dioicus), leatherweed (C. pottsii), and longstock greenthread (Thelesperma longipes). The basal cover, density, biomass, and species richness of the primary herbaceous species decreased significantly (P0.05) from 18 feet (6 m) beyond Pinchot juniper canopy inward to the stem base. The negative effect of Pinchot juniper was more pronounced on shallow soils (Kimbrough association), than on deep soils (Angelo and Tulia associations). Two years following selective poisoning of Pinchot juniper plants with picloram, total herbaceous biomass on Kimbrough, Angelo, and Tulia soils increased from 1,300, 1,780, and 1,290 kg/ha, respectively, to 2,140, 2,140, and 1,560 kg/ha, respectively [23]. In western Texas, McPherson and others [65] found similar interactions between herbaceous species and Pinchot juniper. On both grazed and ungrazed sites, herbaceous cover was significantly (P<0.01) lower under Pinchot juniper canopy compared to interspaces. However, Pinchot juniper had little influence on herbaceous cover 10 to 16 feet (3-5 m) from the edge of the tree canopy.

Fire: Postfire succession models in juniper-dominated (Juniperus spp.) ecosystems in the Intermountain West show a progression from annuals to perennial grasses to grass/shrub mix to juniper dominance over time. Given that junipers studied in the Intermountain West do not sprout after fire, the return of Pinchot juniper to dominance after fire probably occurs more quickly than other juniper species, perhaps within 20 years [9].

SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT:
Pinchot juniper staminate and pistillate cones open during September and October [38,111]. In pinyon-juniper woodlands, Pinchot juniper cones open for pollination in late fall, and seeds mature in the late spring [34].

Phenological development of Pinchot juniper recorded at biweekly intervals during 1968 and 1969 in Garza County, Texas [96]
Phenological stage Date of occurrence
Bark begins to slip March 15 to April 1
Staminate and pistillate cones open April 1 to 15 and October 1 to 15
Start of leader elongation April 15 to May 1
Bark begins to stick September 15 to October 15
Leader elongation stops October 15 to November 15
Dormant period November 15 to March 15

Total volatile oil concentrations in Pinchot juniper twigs were measured seasonally at the Texas A&M Agricultural Research Station in 1991. Volatile oil levels were greatest during summer (14.34 g/g) and spring (10.65 g/g), followed by winter (7.42 g/g) and fall (6.90 g/g) [90]. Extensive data on variations of 34 volatile oils in Pinchot juniper between summer and winter in New Mexico and Texas is available [2].


FIRE ECOLOGY

SPECIES: Juniperus pinchotii
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS:
Fire adaptations: Pinchot juniper establishes after fire by seed [8,71,85,98,113,125] and by sprouting from basal buds [6,22,54,68,69,70,73,83,98,100,108,113,120]. Approximately 30% of young plants with exposed basal bud zones sprout following fire, compared to 97% of older plants with soil-protected basal buds [73].

Fire regimes: In its presettlement habitat on steep, rocky sites lacking fine fuels, Pinchot juniper was largely protected from fire [73,77,129]. However, overgrazing, fire suppression, and recurrent drought have facilitated the encroachment of Pinchot juniper into the Rolling and High Plains of Texas [10,23,26,61,71,73,81,90,101,114]. A fire-return interval of 20 to 30 years is needed to prevent encroachment of Pinchot juniper and maintain natural grassland conditions [71,103]. Where Pinchot juniper occurs in pinyon-juniper woodlands, productive sites can sustain patchy fires at intervals of 10 to 50 years. Densities sufficient to sustain crown fires would occur at intervals of 200 to 300 years. In open stands with continuous grasslands, fire-return intervals may be 10 years or less [35].

The following table provides fire return intervals for plant communities and ecosystems where Pinchot juniper is important. For further information, see the FEIS review of the dominant species listed below.

Community or Ecosystem Dominant Species Fire Return Interval Range (years)
plains grasslands Bouteloua spp. <35
blue grama-buffalo grass Bouteloua gracilis-Buchloe dactyloides <35 [82,134]
juniper-oak savanna Juniperus ashei-Quercus virginiana <35
Ashe juniper Juniperus ashei <35 [82]
creosotebush Larrea tridentata <35 to <100 [48,82]
pinyon-juniper Pinus-Juniperus spp. <35 [82]
Colorado pinyon Pinus edulis 10-400+ [29,36,53,82]
galleta-threeawn shrubsteppe Pleuraphis jamesii-Aristida purpurea <35 to <100 [82]
mesquite Prosopis glandulosa <35 to <100 [63,82]
mesquite-buffalo grass Prosopis glandulosa-Buchloe dactyloides <35
Texas savanna Prosopis glandulosa var. glandulosa <10
oak-juniper woodland (Southwest) Quercus-Juniperus spp. <35 to <200 [82]
oak savanna Quercus macrocarpa/Andropogon gerardii-Schizachyrium scoparium 2-14 [82,121]
shinnery Quercus mohriana <35 [82]
live oak Quercus virginiana 10 to<100
Fayette prairie Schizachyrium scoparium-Buchloe dactyloides <10 [121]
little bluestem-grama prairie Schizachyrium scoparium-Bouteloua spp. <35 [82]
*fire return interval varies widely; trends in variation are noted in the species review

POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY [107]:
Tree with adventitious bud/root crown/soboliferous species root sucker
Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)
Secondary colonizer (on-site or off-site seed sources)

FIRE EFFECTS

SPECIES: Juniperus pinchotii
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT:
Mature Pinchot juniper with a soil-protected basal bud zone is generally only top-killed by fire [6,54,72,100,113]. Age, canopy development, slope, and soil surface stability are determining factors in the rate at which Pinchot juniper's bud zone is covered by soil and therefore protected from fire [103]. Low- to moderate-severity fire can kill Pinchot juniper seedlings and saplings if the basal bud zone is not protected by soil [102,103,106,113]. Mature plants with the basal bud zone elevated above the soil surface can experience mortality rates up to about 70% following fire, while about 3% mortality occurs in plants with a soil-protected basal bud zone [73,86]. Pinchot juniper seeds can survive and germinate following fires [125].

Considerable heat is required for Pinchot juniper ignition to occur, but once ignited, the plants burn so vigorously that all branches are killed [6,54]. Pinchot juniper "readily" ignites when foliage moisture content falls below 70% [73,77].

DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT:
Postfire mortality of Pinchot juniper may vary with season of burning and weather patterns. Mortality of young Pinchot juniper, caused by spring burning on the Texas Rolling Plains, increased from 6 to 30 months after fire. For the purpose of this study, plants were designated as "young" if they were less than 40 inches (100 cm) tall. Six months following burning, young Pinchot juniper mortality was 42%. At postfire month 18, near the end of a dry growing season, Pinchot juniper mortality had increased to 49%. At postfire month 30, near the end of a wet growing season, mortality stood at 50% [103] (See Fire Case Study). Young Pinchot juniper plants burned in King County, Texas, during March 1979, had a mortality rate of 52% for plants 3 to 10 inches (7-30 cm) tall and 25% for plants 12 to 30 inches (31-70 cm) tall. Precipitation was above normal for 5 of the 6 postfire months [104].

PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE:
Pinchot juniper readily sprouts from basal buds following top-kill from fire [6,22,54,83,100,108,113,120]. Once top-killed, mature trees require 25 to 50 years to attain prefire height and canopy cover [54,113]. Pinchot juniper sprouts may not produce seed for several years after fire, which would reduce seedling recruitment on burn sites.

DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE:
Growth rate following fire: On burned sites in New Mexico and Texas, Pinchot junipers regained approximately 50% of their mature height 3 to 7 years after fire [6].

Reduction in canopy cover: Prescribed fire in northeastern King County, Texas, caused a decrease in canopy cover of Pinchot juniper 4 and 8 years following burning. Burned sites were chained 4 to 8 years prior to burning. Both fires took place in March under a prescription of air temperatures at 70 to 78 F (21-26 C), 25% to 40% relative humidity, and wind speeds ranging from 12 to 24 km/hr. From the time of burning until plant cover was measured in 1986 (4 and 8 years postburning), the burned sites were continually grazed at a rate of 1 cow-calf/20 to 22 ha and received light quail hunting pressure. There were no significant (P<0.05) differences between treatments, but cover of Pinchot juniper was greatest on unburned sites (~13.5%), followed by 8-year-old burns (~7%), and 4-year-old burns (~5%) [57,58].

Pinchot juniper cover declined 3, 6, and 7 years following fires in Eddy County, New Mexico, and Culberson County, Texas. Fires were ignited either by lightning or human negligence. Specific cover data for Pinchot juniper are not presented, but total woody shrub cover (Pinchot juniper, lechuguilla (Agave lechuguilla), smooth-leaf sotol (Dasylirion leiophyllum), beargrass (Nolina spp.), prairie wattle (Acacia angustissima var. texensis), catclaw mimosa, and resinbush (Viguiera stenoloba)) on 3-year-old burn sites was 6.5% versus 10.3% on comparable unburned sites. On 6- to 7-year-old burn sites, woody shrub cover was 6.7% compared to 8.7% on unburned sites. The researchers note that lechuguilla, smooth-leaf sotol, and sacahuista lost in excess of 50% of their total cover on burned sites [6].

Seed production: On the Rolling Plains of Texas, Pinchot juniper sprouts were not producing seeds 3 years after fire [105].

FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS:
Prescribed fire to control Pinchot juniper: Prescribed fire to control the encroachment of juniper into grasslands is most effective when juniper size and densities are low and grassland communities support enough fine fuel to carry fire [9]. Pinchot juniper is difficult to kill with fire unless the basal bud zones are above the soil. If the bud zone is exposed, prescribed fire can result in 70% to 75% mortality [86,106]. To maximize Pinchot juniper mortality with fire, the foliage must be ignited and a crown fire generated [73]. Varied burning intervals are recommended depending upon site characteristics. On deep soils, the basal bud zone of Pinchot juniper may become buried earlier, necessitating a prescribed burning regime of 7 to 10 years. In contrast, on shallow soils, the bud zone may take longer to bury, allowing for a prescribed burning regime of 15 to 20 years [106].

While Pinchot juniper is difficult to kill with fire when the basal buds are buried, fire reduces Pinchot juniper's impact on associated herbaceous species. When Pinchot juniper establishes on a site and reaches dominant status, few herbaceous plants grow under the plant (See Forage Production). Because Pinchot juniper canopy cover decreases after fire, prescribed fire can promote an increase in desirable grasses and forbs on sites encroached by Pinchot juniper [105,115,133]. Additionally, areas burned to remove Pinchot juniper are usually not invaded by other woody species following fire [86]. It should be noted that burning during a dry year increases Pinchot juniper mortality, but forage productivity can be reduced by as much as 50% after prescribed burning in a dry year [106].

To prevent soil loss, prescribed burning of Pinchot juniper should be used on flat to gently sloping sites (0% to 12% grade), and use of fire should be limited on steeper slopes [105]. Prescribed fire should be conducted in late winter or early spring, prior to green-up, with relative humidity of 25% to 40%, air temperatures of 70 F to 80 F (20-30 C), and wind speeds of 8 to 15 mph [106]. The optimal season for burning live Pinchot juniper foliage is most closely correlated to foliage moisture content (r=0.73) and average mean daily temperature (r=0.48). During drought conditions, the most relevant factors are foliage moisture content (r=0.83) and relative humidity (r=0.77). During above normal precipitation, no significant (P<0.01) correlation occurs, making fire behavior unpredictable [16,17]. Guidelines for developing a fire prescription management plan in Pinchot juniper communities are available in the literature [86,106,110,140].

Chaining/dozing and fire: Chained and dead Pinchot juniper is a highly volatile fuel [86,120]. Pinchot juniper is commonly controlled by chaining followed by burning 3 to 5 years later [9,64,131,132]. Waiting for a period of 3 to 5 years after chaining permits fuels to dry and allows Pinchot juniper seeds to germinate so that seedlings will also be killed by the fire [105,106].

In northwest Texas grasslands, stands of Pinchot juniper were chained at ground level and 2 feet (0.6 m) above ground in March 1997. Prior to chaining, Pinchot juniper cover was 30%, and following chaining (both treatments) cover was less than 1%. Four years after chaining, the plots were burned in February and early March 2001. Air temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed just prior to the fires averaged 65.3 F (18.5 C), 40.1%, and 17.58 km/hr. Herbaceous fine fuel averaged 990 kg/ha (range 800-1,100 kg/ha) and the fire intensity, based on flame length, was "low" to "moderate". Six years after chaining and 2 years after fire, Pinchot juniper cover was 4% on sites chained to ground level and 6% on elevated chained sites. On untreated sites, cover of Pinchot juniper increased from 30% to 51% from 1996 to 2003 [9].

Wright and others [138] have developed an "expert system" for burning large pastures of dozed Pinchot juniper, with inputs of windspeed, time of day, air temperature, topography, green juniper moisture content, fuel type, and nearness of cold front.

Fire economics: Literature is available on prescribed fire cost associated with Pinchot juniper removal [74,76,87]. In general, aerial ignition of Pinchot juniper stands with a heliotorch is the most economical burning method available to managers [135,137,138,139].

Effects on wildlife: In northeastern King County, Texas, northern bobwhite quail prefer unburned Pinchot juniper sites. Density estimates (mean number of birds/100 ha(SE)) of bobwhite quail on unburned sites was 60.5(11.8) and 55.1(9.2) on 8-year-old burns, and 43.3(7.6) on 4-year-old burns (For fire details, see Discussion and Qualification of Plant Response to Fire) [57,58].

Following fire, deer (species not identified) preferentially browse Pinchot juniper crown sprouts in the Chihuahuan Desert. Crown sprouts grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) during postfire year 1 and up to 2 feet (60 cm) by the end of postfire year 3. Deer also browse new foliage on old branches that survive fire [54].

Grazing: After early spring prescribed fires, managers should wait until at least mid-June before stocking range sites with livestock. A 10- to 20-year burning cycle can maintain productive range sites, reducing the need for chemical and/or mechanical controls of Pinchot juniper [86,105].

Monoterpene levels following fire: Following a prescribed burn, total monoterpene concentrations were measured in 3- and 11-month-old sprouts, and in unburned mature Pinchot juniper plants. In the 3- and 11-month-old sprouts, monoterpenoid concentrations were 5.1 and 10.0 g/mg, respectively, and 12.2 g/mg in the unburned, mature Pinchot juniper plants. Monoterpene levels were significantly (P<0.05) less in the 3-month old sprouts, suggesting that young Pinchot juniper plants invest resources in photosynthesis rather than defense [108].


FIRE CASE STUDY:

Fire-induced mortality of Pinchot juniper

FIRE CASE STUDY CITATION: :
Sullivan, Janet. 1993., compiler. Fire-induced mortality of Pinchot juniper in northwestern Texas. In: Juniperus pinchotii. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [ ].

FIRE CASE STUDY REFERENCES:
Steuter, Allen A.; Britton, Carlton M. 1983. Fire-induced mortality of redberry juniper (Juniperus pinchotii Sudw.). Journal of Range Management. 36(3): 343-345. [103].

Wright, Henry A.; Bunting, Stephen C.; Neuenschwander, Leon F. 1976. Effect of fire on honey mesquite. Journal of Range Management. 29(6): 467-471. [136].

STUDY LOCATION:
Masterson Ranch, King County, Texas; Potts Ranch, Motley County, Texas

SITE DESCRIPTION:
Long-term mean annual precipitation is 23 inches (590 mm), of which 90% occurs during the growing season. Soils on the King County area are shallow, rocky Mollisols of the Talpa series, while those on the Motley County area are deep Alfisols of the Miles series.

PREFIRE PLANT COMMUNITY:
The prefire community was a Pinchot juniper (Juniperus pinchotii)-mixed grass type. Pinchot juniper was the dominant woody species. Associated shrubs included fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica), littleleaf sumac (R. microphylla), agarito (Mahonia trifoliolata), lotebush (Ziziphus obtusifolia), catclaw acacia (Acacia greggii), featherplume (Dalea formosa), honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa var. glandulosa), catclaw mimosa (Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera), and stretchberry (Forestiera pubescens). Dominant grasses were sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), perennial threeawns (Aristida purpurea), little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), silver bluestem (Bothriochloa saccharoides), rough dropseed (Sporobolus asper var. asper), slim tridens (Tridens muticus), hairy woollygrass (Erioneuron pilosum), and fall witchgrass (Digitaria cognata).

FIRE SEASON/SEVERITY CLASSIFICATION:
Broadcast burns, for which severity information is not given, were conducted in spring (mid-March).

A separate (1981) study involved burning Pinchot juniper plants in early April with an individual plant burner. Plants in three size classes were randomly assigned to one of four treatments consisting of a control, light, moderate, and heavy fine fuel simulated fires. The burner was calibrated using time/temperature curves developed for mixed grass fuels by Wright and others [136].

FIRE DESCRIPTION:
The fire management objective was to investigate the potential for using prescribed burning to control Pinchot juniper in rangeland in north and west Texas. A  2,000-acre (800 ha) broadcast burn was conducted in March 1979; and a 700-acre (280 ha) broadcast burn was conducted in March 1980.

Fire Description information for broadcast burns
Relative humidity 25%
Air temperature 68 to 79 F (20 to 26 C)
Wind speed 7 to 14 miles/hour (12-24 km/h)
Fine fuel load 1,800 to 3,500 kg/ha

Individual plant-burner treatments were applied in early April with air temperatures from 68 to 79 F (20 to 26 C) and relative humidity from 60% to 75%.

FIRE EFFECTS ON TARGET SPECIES:
Pinchot juniper plants on the two broadcast burns (1979,1980) were seedlings from 3 to 32 inches tall (7-80 cm), residual live stems that escaped the chaining treatment, and 5- to 6-year-old basal sprouts from plants that were top-killed by chaining. Mortality was assessed 6, 18, and 30 months after the prescribed fires. Mortality of young Pinchot juniper was 42% six months after the 1979 fire, 49% eighteen months after fire, and 50% thirty months after fire. Only 1 of 100 marked mature plants (with buried bud zones) was killed by broadcast burning in 1979, and the bud zone of this plant had been mostly exposed by the chaining operation 4 years earlier. In the drought year of 1980, burning killed approximately 5 percent of the mature plants. The plants that were killed typically had a large amount of woody debris from the chaining operation lodged around the base, increasing fire severity.

Postfire growing conditions appear to affect mortality following a prescribed fire. Following the 1979 fire, precipitation was 18% above the long-term average during the growing season. In 1980, precipitation was 32% below average and summer temperatures were higher than normal in the growing season following fire treatments. Mortality following the 1980 fire was higher; there was some effect of a higher fine fuel load, but this did not appear to have as great an effect as the drought conditions.

In the 1981 simulated fire study, Pinchot juniper mortality increased across size classes with increased heat treatment. Location of the bud zone relative to the soil surface was the dominant variable associated with mortality of Pinchot juniper plants.

FIRE MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS:
Pinchot juniper can be killed by fire if it is burned before the majority of young plants have their bud zones covered by soil. On shallow rocky sites, mortality of Pinchot juniper plants less than 13 years old and 20 inches (50 cm) tall ranged from 33% to 100%, depending on the size of the plants and the conditions of the following growing season. Continuing control of Pinchot juniper can be achieved with prescribed fire treatment only; chaining is needed only if Pinchot juniper is allowed to reach mature heights. Intervals between prescribed fire treatments should be approximately 7 to 20 years, or when Pinchot juniper on the site reaches 20 inches (50 cm) in height and the bud zone is still exposed. The age at which the bud zone is covered with soil varies with site. On deep soil sites with gentle slopes the bud zones are protected earlier. On such sites, the interval between fires should be shorter to obtain satisfactory control of Pinchot juniper. Development of fine fuel loads of 2,680 pounds per acre (3,000 kg/ha) will improve fire control of Pinchot juniper. Fires conducted in dry years will also achieve higher mortality rates, but these conditions negatively affect herbaceous plant yield. Good soil moisture reserves at the time of the fire are recommended to minimize herbaceous plant yield loss.


MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS

SPECIES: Juniperus pinchotii
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE:
Pinchot juniper is a low value browse species for livestock and wildlife [26]. Livestock seldom browse Pinchot juniper except during winter when herbaceous species are dormant and other browse has lost its leaves [84]. In Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico, mule deer browse substantially more Pinchot juniper in years of poor growth of more desirable forage species [55]. The berries of Pinchot juniper are a valuable food source for numerous species of birds and small mammals [59,128]. Insects on the Rolling Plains of Texas are also known to feed on Pinchot juniper [81].

Domestic goats will browse Pinchot juniper, especially during the dormant season, but intake is limited because of postingestive feedback from the monoterpenes in Pinchot juniper [13,24,108]. Pinchot juniper consumption affects rumen metabolism. Domestic goats (Angora and Spanish) that consume Pinchot juniper as 30% of their diet for 10 days exhibit an increase in total volatile fatty acid production along with changes in proportional volatile fatty acid concentrations. In domestic goats, intraruminal dosing for 9 days with Pinchot juniper oil (0.18g oil/kg bodyweight) results in cachexia and mild hepatic injury at low doses in the form of lipid vacuolization. At higher doses (0.36g oil/kg bodyweight) cellular necrosis and lobular encapsulation occur after 9 days [108]. Domestic goats dosed with activated charcoal may consume more Pinchot juniper for a short period of time (up to 6 days), since activated charcoal attenuates the negative feedback associated with Pinchot juniper [13].

Domestic Spanish goats consume significantly (P<0.01) more Pinchot juniper than do domestic Angora goats in Texas in all seasons [24]. Female Spanish goats browse significantly (P<0.05) more Pinchot juniper during spring and summer than do Angora goats [84].

Palatability/nutritional value: Pinchot juniper contains monoterpenes which negatively affect palatability [24,84,108]. In particular, terpinene, terpineol, and terpinen-4-ol are most responsible for the unpalatability of Pinchot juniper to most wildlife and livestock [44].

Pinchot juniper is described as "moderately" nutritious [108]. The plant has a dry matter digestion range of 57% to 66% and a crude protein range of 6% to 9%. Domestic goat consumption of Pinchot juniper throughout the year, particularly during the dormant season, may increase the likelihood that domestic goats meet their nutritional requirements. Pinchot juniper consumption, at a maximum of 30% of their diet, may also result in a favorable shift of volatile fatty acid production towards lower acetate:propionate ratios, thus improving feeding efficiency. Also, low levels of Pinchot juniper (at or below 30% of their diet) may induce both stage I and stage II detoxification enzymes [108].

Nutritional/mineral content (%) of Pinchot juniper fruit and foliage for one measurement date each in Sutton County, Texas [30]

Plant part
(date collected)
Protein Ether extract Crude fiber N-free extract Water Ash Potash Lime Magnesium Phosphoric acid
Mature fruit (12/18) 5.94 11.12 29.35 35.98 14.77 2.84 1.21 1.22 0.19 0.28
Foliage
(3/24)
7.93 9.48 18.45 52.05 7.66 4.43 0.59 2.36 0.26 0.28

Huston and others [49] measured the composition of Pinchot juniper leaves 11 times from 1973 to 1976 on Edwards Plateau, Texas.

Compositional range of Pinchot juniper leaves during 11 measurement dates [49]

Collection date Composition (%)
Water Ash Cell wall Phosphorus Protein Digestible organic matter
4/73 - 7/76 46-56 4-6 34-37 0.08-0.17 6-9 57-66

Cover value: Pinchot juniper provides valuable cover for numerous wildlife species [26,116]. It has a high cover, escape, and thermal value for white-tailed deer on the Edwards Plateau and the Rolling Plains of Texas [15]. Many species of birds us Pinchot juniper for nesting and roosting cover [119,120,128].

VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES:
Pinchot juniper stabilizes soil on steep and rocky range sites [26,112,116].

OTHER USES:
The Comanche Native Americans used Pinchot juniper as a treatment for headaches, vertigo, and other ailments. The leaves were dried over hot coals and inhaled. They also used an extract of the dried and pulverized roots to alleviate menstrual problems [113]. Pinchot juniper was also used in the construction of bows and arrow shafts by the Kiowa, Comanche, Cheyenne, and Apache Native Americans [38].

Wood Products: The wood of Pinchot juniper is used locally for fence posts [83,120] and fuel [47,120], but is of little commercial importance.

OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS:
Encroachment: Overgrazing, fire suppression, and recurrent drought in the tall and midgrass rangelands of Texas have facilitated the encroachment of Pinchot juniper [23,26,61,71,81,90,94,101,112]. The establishment of Pinchot juniper in the Texas Rolling Plains began in the 1830s and spread onto Texas prairies during the expansion of the cattle industry from 1870 to 1920 [65]. In the 40 years from 1920 to 1960, abundance of Pinchot juniper increased substantially. It is estimated that nearly twice as many Pinchot juniper plants established in the 1960s than during the period 1830 to 1990 [79].

Pinchot juniper invades fertile lowland ranges, particularly those associated with shallow-soiled rangeland. In 65 counties of northwest Texas, Pinchot juniper has increased its range from 6.3 million acres (2.5 million ha) in 1948 to 10.1 million acres (4.1 million ha) in 1982, representing a 61% increase [8,26]. In 5 counties in western Texas, Pinchot juniper cover increased on untreated rangelands from 0.45% to 1.08% from the mid-1960s to 1996. During the same period, Pinchot juniper rangelands chained or grubbed saw an increase of Pinchot juniper cover from 1.01% to 1.21%. The increased cover on treated rangelands is facilitated by 3 factors: 1) Pinchot juniper seedlings and saplings are not effectively controlled by grubbing or chaining, 2) chaining and grubbing of mature Pinchot juniper effectively releases Pinchot juniper seedlings and saplings in the understory, and 3) chaining on some sites only removes aboveground portions of Pinchot juniper which then sprout from basal buds [117,118].

Forage production: As little as 10% to 20% Pinchot juniper cover can cause significant declines in herbaceous cover [9]. A study near San Angelo, Texas, indicated that the invasion of Pinchot juniper and Ashe juniper has reduced forage production on rangelands from 1,900 pounds/acre to 283 pounds/acre. A closed juniper canopy on rangelands would require a 675% increase in acres required to graze 1 animal unit [85].

Near Roscoe, Texas, forage production was estimated to be 1,148 lbs/acre at 0% Pinchot juniper cover and 14 lbs/acre at 100% Pinchot juniper cover. The effect of Pinchot juniper cover on forage production is most pronounced from 20% to 60%. When Pinchot juniper cover is 20%, forage production is reduced 16%; at 60% Pinchot juniper cover, production is reduced 79% [33].

Increasing density of Pinchot juniper in central and western Texas rangelands has reduced the carrying capacity of wildlife and livestock, promoted erosion, and reduced aquifer recharge [24,105,106,108,110,116]. Pinchot juniper reduces grass and forb production by capturing water before it reaches the ground and reduces the amount of water infiltrating underground aquifers. The canopy of a mature Pinchot juniper intercepts 26% of annual precipitation, and Pinchot juniper litter intercepts approximately 40% of annual rainfall [85]. On the Edwards Plateau, computer models predict that if Pinchot juniper and other woody species continue encroaching on rangelands, available water for forage species will decrease 35% by 2025 [141]. Pinchot juniper further reduces grass productivity, particularly on shallow soils, by creating shade and consuming soil moisture and nutrients [8].

Grazing: At ungrazed and grazed sites in western Texas, increasing Pinchot juniper cover was related to a reduction in herbaceous cover [70]. The grazed site was dominated by threeawns (Aristida spp.) and buffalo grass, while the ungrazed site was dominated by sideoats grama. During the 3-year study, grass production was always greater on ungrazed sites. The negative relationship between Pinchot juniper cover and grass production was linear on the ungrazed site and logarithmic on the grazed site all 3 years. This functional relationship had an important effect on grazed and ungrazed sites. On ungrazed sites, an increase in Pinchot juniper cover of up to 5% reduced grass production by 4.3%. The same change in Pinchot juniper cover on grazed sites, however, reduced grass production by 26% [70].

Grazing exclusion on a shortgrass prairie at the Texas Tech Experimental Ranch caused an increase in Pinchot juniper cover. In 1982, 50 acres (20 ha) of heavily grazed shortgrass prairie was fenced off from grazing. By 1996, an average of 1,411 Pinchot juniper plants/acre, with 62% measuring less than 30 inches (80 cm), occurred in the ungrazed plots. This compared to an average of 101 Pinchot juniper plants/acre, with 13% measuring less than 30 inches (80 cm), in the grazed area [14].

Host species: Pinchot juniper is associated with several pest species. The larvae of the cedar fly, which is a major problem for the livestock industry, likely require leaf litter under Pinchot juniper for survival [8,131]. In northwest Texas, 5 years after chaining and burning a Pinchot juniper-dominated site, female cedar flies were significantly (P<0.05) reduced [131]. Dense stands of Pinchot juniper also support the biting horse fly which causes large-scale economic losses to livestock operations [9].

Pinchot juniper is one of several principal hosts of juniper mistletoe, which affects growth rate and may cause plant mortality [32,122]. The plant is also a host for hairy mistletoe [32].

Biological control: Due to monoterpenes, Pinchot juniper is only "limitedly" browsed by domestic goats. To assess if goats can be used to control Pinchot juniper encroachment on rangelands, Ellis and others [24] fed Pinchot juniper to male Boer-Spanish goats in a controlled study. The researchers found that domestic goat intake of Pinchot juniper significantly (P<0.05) increased over time throughout the 1997, 1998, and 2000 feeding trials. The findings suggest that biological control of Pinchot juniper via domestic goats is a possibility [24]. However, a study of Angora and Spanish goats subjected to the volatile oils of Pinchot juniper early in life (6 to 7 weeks old) ate marginally less Pinchot juniper later in life than domestic goats not exposed to the volatile oils [84].

Mechanical Control: Pinchot juniper is difficult to control mechanically because it readily sprouts from basal buds following top removal [94,112]. Mechanical methods commonly used to control Pinchot juniper include rootplowing, chaining, and tree-dozing [106,116]. (Also See Fire Management Considerations.)

Chemical control: Many common herbicides are not effective Pinchot juniper controls. Picloram and picloram + 2,4,5-T seem to be the most effective herbicides, resulting in Pinchot juniper mortality rates from 74.1% to 100%. Herbicides are most effective when applied during early and late spring and fall [94]. In Garza County, Texas, Tunnell and Mitchell [112] tested the effect that picloram and picloram + top removal had on Pinchot juniper. Plants in the picloram/top removal treatment were cut to a 4-inch stump. Basal applications of picloram produced a death rate from 60% to 89%. Cutting and spraying resulted in 77% to 100% mortality rates. Another study in Garza and Lynn counties found that picloram and picloram + 2,4,5-T killed 89.3% of Pinchot juniper plants on deep hardland sites and 97.0% on very shallow sites [37]. Near Mertzon, Texas, application of picloram pellets at a rate of 4 lbs/acre produced a Pinchot juniper mortality rate of 81% to 92%. A smaller application of 2 lbs/acre produced a mortality rate of 70% to 82%. Within 3 years of treatment, grass production (particularly buffalograss) increased from 459 lbs/acre on untreated plots to 1,732 lbs/acre on the 4 lbs/acre treatment and 1,570 lbs/acre on the 2 lbs/acre treatment [91]. Further research on the effects of picloram on Pinchot juniper are available [42,95,97].

Economic factors: Literature is available on the economics of controlling Pinchot juniper encroachment [50,67,80,116].


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