I WONDER if this is the only uke ever made with a Rocky Mountain Juniper top. Bet it is. This wood came from an ancient juniper growing on a rocky windswept cliffside on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington. It is the only place in the lowlands that this unique juniper grows, It is normally found on the high rocky reaches of the Rocky and Cascade Mountains of the west. I found my juniper just above the high tide line on a rocky cliff that had a small rock slide. The tree had come down with the slide. I cut off a chunk, lashed it to the foredeck of my sailboat and sailed it home where I have kept if for 35 years. The grain is so fine that I had to use a microscope to count the growth rings.
Here was the set up. Now I was able to focus, but it was still very hard to count rings in the center of the bout. I put a piece of tape over a plastic ruler and marked each ten growth rings as I counted outward. There were a total of 265 years of growth in half of the width of the lower bout. That means that this uke represents a tree that began it's growth in 1749, well before the birth of our nation. In actuality the wood is certainly older than that since the piece has a lot trimmed off. Maybe as much as another 100 years. Imagine! I am sure eager to hear what it sounds like