Junipers are coniferous trees and shrubs in the genus Juniperus of the cypress family Cupressaceae. Depending on taxonomic viewpoint, between 50 and 67 species of junipers are widely distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere, from the Arctic, south to tropical Africa, from Ziarat, Pakistan, east to eastern Tibet in the Old World, and in the mountains of Central America. The highest-known juniper forest occurs at an altitude of 16,000 ft (4,900 m) in southeastern Tibet and the northern Himalayas, creating one of the highest tree-lines on earth.
Junipers vary in size and shape from tall trees, 20–40 m (66–131 ft) tall, to columnar or low-spreading shrubs with long, trailing branches. They are evergreen with needle-like and/or scale-like leaves.
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