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The tree grows in a lovely and gently-sloped meadow at 8,500 feet elevation. During the summer and early fall, the tree is watched after by Ken Brunges who sets up a camp close by the tree. He is a very personable man and is delighted to give a tour down a short trail to the tree.

Since he has been the caregiver of the Bennett Juniper for 20 years, he is quite knowledgeable about the tree and obviously loves his job since he has spent so many years with the tree throughout the summer months. Ken believes the tree is closer to 6,000 years old.

There is no charge for the tour; however, a box is available for anyone who wishes to leave a donation to help defray Mr. Brunges' living expenses while he lives in the beautiful surroundings of the Stanislaus.

(See more photos)

Another Web site of interest shows a list of record trees in the United States. The Western Juniper (Bennett Juniper), located in Tuolumne County in the Stanislaus National Forest, is listed as the oldest juniper tree in the Country.


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Directions: From the Summit Ranger Station head east on Highway 108 for approximately 17.7 miles to 5N01. Turn right and continue for 12 miles until you see a small sign on the right that says Bennett Juniper. At that point, turn left and follow the signs. Passenger cars should be able to make this trip without any difficulty.

This magnificent Western Juniper is located within the Stanislaus and close to Eagle Meadows off of forest service road 5N01 and is estimated to be about 3000 to 4000 years old.

An article entitled "Guardian of the Giant",written by Thomas Atkins, Mountain Times, October 26, 2007, states that this giant tree is 86 feet tall with a circumference of 480 inches and a crown spread of 58 feet. The article had been available on the Mountain Times Web site...but unfortunately is no longer there.

Bennett Juniper Tree

Bennett Juniper Tree