Category Archives: Jerry Dishion

Snow is Here

Here we are on the Oregon coast and it’s snowing.  It’s not supposed to do that here, but it is. Not much is sticking but enough so you can see it.

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We let out the dogs this morning and they went nuts; they are not used to snow and they love it. They were chasing each other around the yard like maniacs.  The Beagle (Logger) was chasing his buddie (Freddie Bear) one of our Labs and the Lab had to slow down so Logger could catch up.  They were barking their heads off having a great time and rolling in the snow.

dog-for-post-3I love to watch them when they are chasing each other around in the back, we have a couple of acres that you can see in the back.  I can watch them go crazy all around the backyard. The other dogs we have (two more Labs) all get involved and it’s really fun to watch.  Fortunately we live in an area that doesn’t get very cold and snows very seldom and we can get in the car and go for thirty minutes and get into the snow when we want to. dogs-for-post

img_0148My faux son Austin lives in Alaska and it gets down to twenty below some of the time and one of my other sons, Seth, is also up in Alaska where he fishes for a living so we get to hear all about mucho cold weather all of the time, that’s close enough for me.  I used to not mind the cold weather, but unless I am hunting or doing something that keeps me moving or jumping around I just don’t like it much.  Nowadays I get to wear my parka and long-johns to keep warm.


We just got back from the Archery Trade Association Show in Indiana and the weather was about 12 or 13 degrees as an average low temp, with highs up to the low 20’s.  Back in Myrtle Point, while the temps are so low, we moved the cat and dog beds into the house.  It’s a thrill during feeding time with the barking and meowing not to mention us trying to get some chow in our faces, but it’s fun.


img_7539It was fun at the ATA show, we got to show off our new products.  The carbon arrows Rose City Archery is selling really caught a few peoples eyes.  Of all of the new products we’ve introduced I like the footed shafts best, it’s really an opportunity to show off the talent we have working here. Our craftsman’s main objective is to put more weight forward in the arrow, this provides more energy in the shaft for more “killing power”.  It’s amazing to see how much more force is imparted in the arrow when you add that extra weight in the front part of the arrow.  Of course there are other ways to put some extra weight forward but they aren’t 15965606_1403434276356174_5022059601781014381_nnear as efficient as the footed arrow.  Plus they look great and fly super true so if you have some talent with the bow you can have more efficient and better arrow flight; actually footed shafts will make a better archer out of the person behind the bow.

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-3-55-02-pmWe also have the Lumenoks that we are able to attach to a wood arrow; what this does is the nock end of the arrow lights up when you shoot the arrow so that you can tract the flight of your arrow and see where your point of impact is with the shot you just made.  If you are hunting you are able to see where the point of impact is and where that arrow strikes the animal. You’re able to track the animal by this light, it is something that makes you more efficient in recovering an animal after you have made the shot.  I believe this is a wonderful innovation in the archery world helping with the recovery of an animal.  Especially if you are tracking that animal after dark, battery life is good for forty hours so you have a decent period of time after the shot to recover the animal.

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-2-20-01-pmRose City Archery is producing what we call “Carbon Footed aka Fusions” where we attach a carbon extension to the wood shaft, this allows the archer to be able to use any of the screw in attachments that are available to carbon arrow shooters.  This includes all of the different broadheads and other points that won’t fit on wood arrows.  Another new product we have re-introduced is RCA tapered shafts.   This allows the archer to use an 11/32 or 23/64 shaft and be able to use a 5/16 nock, which a lot of folks think they have better control of the arrow with the taper and the smaller nock.  New for 2017 is our extra long shafts, archers who have that 32” plus draw length found it difficult to find wood shafts long enough for their draw, we have provided the solution.  We have what you need and we want to make your archery experience better.  We have more new stuff coming soon so keep your eyes on this Blog and the newsletter for updates.

Thanks for listening and good shooting,

Jerry Dishion



Summer Time



We just got the garden planted and I’m beat.  We decided to put in a new type of garden, it’ called a “straw bale garden”.  It’s really neat, what you do is get a bunch of straw bales and set them up in rows then you put plants right in the straw bales.  Then you water and add some fertilizer and all of the vegetables grow right in the straw. According to the book it’s easy but the book is full of crap.  First you wrestle (50 ea.) 70 pound bales of straw into your truck to bring them home.  When you get to the farmers who has a 12 year old kid throwing these bales around like they weighed 10 pounds, me and my 30 year old son are struggling with, I convince myself it must be a matter of technique.


We get them home a put them into whatever type of configuration has been decided upon by “SHE” who must be obeyed (my wife).  Then you have to prepare the bales for about 12+ days with nutrients and lots of water until you begin to get mushrooms growing, then you are pretty much ready to go.  Then you have to set up a watering system and did I tell you about the ground cover you install first and of course you have to put wire, small chicken wire to keep the moles and gophers from chewing their way up through the bales to gobble up your veggies when (if) they grow.  I forgot about the 8’ deer fence around the whole thing after which I got to roto till the whole area, well if the veggie’s are going to grow in the bales why roto till the ground?  Well some of the veggie’s have roots that will grow deeper than the thickness of the bales and if you don’t roto till they will get root bound and then all your work goes down the drain.  Trust me on this one, you don’t want your work to go away because it is an incredible amount of work and mucho sweat.  Just to get the first little plants to raise their little heads above the soil takes a few weeks of hard work, but it’s fun.  The older I get the more I appreciate hard work, especially when I’m the one doing it.  OK so now we have a month and a half into this a project and we see our little veggie children popping their collective little heads up above the straw and we have enough cash into this to buy veggie’s for at least a year, and another years worth of vegetable stuff.  But we’re off to the races, were rolling right along and most importantly my wife is happy.


Now I just came back from lunch and the plants are happy, happy, happy.  I just saw our first flower on a squash plant, the tomatoes have little baby tomatoes on them and some pretty good sized ones too and they are covered with flowers; woo-hoo, nothing like fresh tomatoes right out of the garden.  Now if we can keep the stupid dogs off the bales, keep them from eating all of the fertilizer and berries off the Blue Berries and the raspberries the minute they get a little red or blue.  Squash blossoms are in mortal danger the minute they bloom and our pooches spot them, that soil must taste pretty good.  You don’t use any dirt, you exfoliate all of it and remove any traces of dirt from around the plants.  Now, you may ask why is old Jerry doing all of this stuff to get a few veggies he could just a easily buy at the store when the time is right.  Well I’m going to tell you right now if you’ll listen.  (A) My wife wanted to do it and I’m her slave and this makes my life much easier and pleasant.  (B)We get great vegetables, the tomatoes don’t taste like saw dust, and the strawberries are wonderful.  They are sweet like they were when I was a little guy.  (C)Plus my archery targets are right by the garden for a little well needed practice.  (D)Lots of good exercise and I can’t think of any reason not to.  (E)Now a straw bale garden is not supposed have any weeds which will be wonderful because the garden grows in the bales and not the dirt so there is no opportunity for weeds to get a foot hold….I hate weeds.  In a normal garden you spend most of your time weeding and that takes a lot of the enjoyment out of the garden for me.


OK, Now we have the garden going and growing and even glowing, everything is clippity clopping right along and life is good, or so I think.  Actually I had forgotten about all of the critters out there who like to eat vegetables just like we do and now we have an onslaught of squirrels, raccoons, skunks and other assorted mammals and birds who are just starting to drive us nuts.  Fortunately our doggies just love to chase these furry and feathered guys out of the garden area.  Our Beagle; Old Logger, he starts to bugle and the Labs join right in and they don’t care what time it is.  They look at their job is to keep the AO clear and they intend to do it. Of course the neighbors might not agree on the time schedule, but our pooches look at it this way, as WTF, they have a job to do and they’re going to do it.

The dogs each have kennels and sleep in our room in them and when the time to bark comes around they bark, they don’t ask permission they just do it, if your sleeping well OK get ready.  I believe this will all turn out OK, if we can just get some sleep, it will.  The plus side is I have some archery targets right by the garden and I can sneak out and shoot a few arrows for my breaks.  I did see a couple of nice bucks the other day, just outside our fence at our house.  So who knows this all may turn out well.


We just got back from a friends wedding in Alaska and while we were there we got to see our son who has been up in Homer, AK commercial fishing for the last six years. The wedding was great and to visit with our son was even better so things are going well this summer.

Thanks for listening and we’ll see you soon.

Good Shooting,


Bow Cat Whiskers “How to” – Bow String Silencers

How to Put on Bow String Cat Whiskers

Here is one of the easiest most efficient ways to attach cat whiskers, these string silencers/string dampeners reduce vibrations upon the bow limbs resulting in a smoother shot.   There are many ways to attached string whiskers, some are correct, others may eventually fail or provide unsatisfactory performance.   In this example we will give you the correct technique to fastened a set of cat whiskers to your weapon’s string, wether the bow is a traditional long or recurve this method will work all the same.

This “how to” will be filled with hints to help archers better understand this technique. For example – Hint: Use a full piece of elastic “cat whiskers” for both sides of your bow string.

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Step 1. Measure and mark equal locations for the whiskers on the upper/lower limbs of bow string. 7-12 inches will work depending upon length of bow.

Hint: We recommend you place the cat whiskers above the area where your string meets the limb. In other words…. let your whiskers touch only the bow string, try to keep them away from being pinched by a recurve limbs.

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Step 2.Wrap the cat whiskers lengthwise along the string:

Hint: Use a clothes pin to help secure the elastic whiskers on the string, this eliminates the need to use one hand to hold your elastic whiskers in place.

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Step 3. Use a small zip-tie and wrap the around the middle section of the cat whiskers and string.

Hint: make sure you make this zip-tie as tight as possible to prevent string slide. Use needle nose pliers to help tighten.

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Step 4.Pull out the elastic bands and let them snap slightly, this will separate the pieces of elastic resulting in the cat whisker look.

Hint: You can shoot your bow to help separate the strands of elastic, over time they will all become separated.


Step 5. Stretch out either end of the cat whiskers, using scissors trim the upper and lower portions of whiskers.  This helps to separate stands of elastic and makes your cat whisker ball smaller.

Here are a few links to videos with different examples of how to put on your cat whiskers.  There are many ways to get these noise reducers on your string, pick one method you like and try it out.  Good news is cat whiskers are relatively inexpensive, you can always test and revise your methods without breaking the bank.

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Traditions of Archery: Wooden Arrows

Thoughts on the Traditions of Archery: Wooden Arrows

Notes From Jerry Dision, – CEO President Rose City Archery

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Pictured above are legendary archers Art Young (Left), Saxton Pope (Right) and their Bowhunting and Bowmaking mentor, Will Compton (Center). They pursued big game with minimal technology to prove the effectiveness of traditional archery equipment. The majority of the time these men harvested game with primitive equipment making them even more skilled in the art of archery. They prided themselves on being excellent hunters and proving the effectiveness of wooden bows and arrows. Minimal technology; that’s why they loved it and that’s why we love it. It can be as simple today to stay traditional as it was in the early 1900’s, just pick up a wood bow whether it be a recurve or longbow and shoot some arrows.

Art Young, Saxton Pope, and their mentor, Will Compton saw no reason to get “camo’d up”.  They had on what was necessary to keep the cold off and the bugs away. It is a prideful picture of three men who went hunting together and were successful. A dinner table full of meat was in their near future.  Saxton Pope looks like he was the deer slayer in this photo. They wore leather boots, cotton shirts, cotton pants, and always had a knife handy.  It is a powerful picture in that it depicts what bowhunting is: life and death in the woods. These men didn’t need endless amounts of advanced technology to be successful hunters. They got it done in their work clothes.

It got me thinking about what more would one need? Pope had on an arm guard as did Compton. I guess Young didn’t need one. I don’t wear one either. Compton is wearing suspenders and they all had hats with full brims.  It made me think of all of the magazines I get and all of the different gadgets that are “guaranteed” to make hunting successful. From sights to lasers, camo, scent free gear, 50 different broad heads, 20 different arrow selections, and 60 different compound/cross bows.  What these magazines fail to tell us is that Traditional Archery is a means of harvesting game that has been around for tens of thousands of years. Other than the few magazines who deal with us Traditionalists directly, it seems as though we aren’t even there in the big print.  You have to look carefully for an article on us.

When you call yourself a Traditional archer you ought to think about what that means.  Role models such as Art Young, Saxton Pope, and Will Compton taught us to follow the traditions of archery and commemorate bowhunting with wood arrows.  Celebrate the simplicity of our rich heritage as bowhunters.  You follow your own thoughts on how to enjoy archery wether thats with or without a range finder, sights, carbon arrows, compound or cross bows, scent-free clothing etc. You probably don’t need it. Thirty years ago it was not even available and hunting success was achieved without it. I guess that if you think you need it, go ahead, it won’t hurt; maybe.  The point is to not let technology get in the way of you enjoying the wonderful world of bowhunting.

Good Shooting, Stick Em”,



Rose City Archery Factory Tour Video

We are Rose City Archery the world’s largest wood arrow manufacturer, join us on a factory tour with Jerry Dishion Owner and CEO.   All arrows are handmade from wood found here in Coquille Valley near Myrtle Point Oregon, we use %100 percent of the wood byproduct from the arrow making process. For more information about our other cedar products, arrow building supplies, arrow orders, FAQ’s, etc check out

Oregon State University – Toxicity Studies

 Toxicity studies on western juniper oil (Juniperus occidentalis) and Port-Orford-cedar oil (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) extracts utilizing Local Lymph Node and Acute Dermal Irritation Assays

A. Morrie Craig1†, Joseph J. Karchesy2, Linda L. Blythe1, Maria del Pilar González-Hernández3, Laurence R. Swan4

1- Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331;

2- Department of Wood Science and Engineering, College of Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331;

3- Department of Crop Production, University of Santiago de Compostela, Lugo-España, Spain;

4USDA Forest Service, Klamath Falls, OR 97601

†Corresponding author: A. Morrie Craig

Department of Biomedical Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine, 208 Dryden Hall, 450 SW 30th Street Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, phone: (541) 737-3036, fax: (541) 737-2730 e-mail:

Abstract The essential oil extracts of western juniper oil (Juniperus occidentalis) and Port-Orford-cedar oil (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) were evaluated for possible dermal toxic effects on mice and rabbits. Mice were tested for their response to both extracts utilizing a Local Lymph Node Assay. Western juniper oil extract at 0.5% and 5% concentrations did not show a Stimulation Index (SI) greater than normal (3.0); however, a 50% concentration did show a positive response at 3.3. Port-Orford-cedar oil extract did not show a positive response at concentrations of 0.5%, 5%, and 50%. A primary dermal irritation study using rabbits had a Primary Irritation Index (PII) of 3.3 with 100% Port-Orford-cedar oil extract. This was reduced to a PII of 0.625 when diluted 1:1 with olive oil. Undiluted western juniper oil extract had a PII score of 2.7. While a 5.0% solution had a PII score of 0.3, a 0.5% solution of western juniper oil was a non-irritant. It would appear that animals bedded on wood shavings have contact with essential oils at concentrations far less than the 2% maximum by weight obtained by steam distillation extraction. These concentrations did not elicit a hypersensitivity response.

Key Words: western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis), Port-Orford-cedar Chamaecyparis lawsoniana), acute toxicity, shavings, essential oil extracts, horses, dogs, laboratory animals

1. Introduction

Sawmills produce a large amount of waste. It is not uncommon for 40% to 50% of a log by weight to become processing residue even for commodity products, such as dimensional lumber. An even higher percentage of waste is generated by the limited number of manufacturers who process logs into high-value added products, such as millwork (e.g., flooring and paneling) and sporting equipment (e.g., wooden arrow shafts). Manufacturing residues of many aromatic cedars, such as western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) and Port-Orford-cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana), can be distilled for their essential oils, thereby extracting value from what traditionally has been discarded or burned, and improving processing economics.

An added impetus to investigate valued-added uses for western juniper is that this species, similar to other Juniperus spp. in the Western United States, has greatly increased in acreage and density over the last century, causing loss of site productivity, decrease in forage, loss of wildlife habitat, and overall decrease in biodiversity (Gedney et al., 1999; Miller and Wigand, 1994; Miller and Rose, 1995; Miller et al., 2000). The costs of western juniper removal to improve rangeland and watershed conditions are high compared to the value of the land. Given this situation, many landowners and land managers are highly interested in investigating potential markets for eastern juniper products to partially defray costs of management (Swan, 2001).

Besides traditional markets for aromatic cedar essential oils, such as fragrances, there has been increased interest in the pharmaceutical properties of these oils. Oil extracts of Alaska cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) and western juniper have antimicrobial activity that may provide some protection against opportunistic anaerobic bacterial infections when animals are bedded on Port-Orford-cedar or western juniper shavings (Johnston et al., 2001). Nootkatin, a major component of Alaskan cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) heartwood, has been shown to have antifungal properties (Rennerfelt and Nacht, 1955). Antioxidative effects have been demonstrated in-vitro with extracts from thyme, juniper (Juniperus sp.), and oregano (Takacsova et al., 1995). Similarly, in a rat model, dietary juniper berry oil (Juniperus sp.) reduced hepatic reperfusion injuries through its 5,11,14-eicosatrienoic acid, a poly-unsaturated fatty acid similar to that found in fish oils (Jones et al., 1998). Chavali et al. (1998) also found consumption of juniper oil (Juniperus chinensis beans) in the diet increased the production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and decreased levels of dienoic eicosanoids, interlukeukin-6 and -10 in mice subjected to an intraperitoneal lethal dose of endotoxin. Butani et al. (2003) found an amelioration of tacrolimus-induced nephrotoxicity in rats when their diets were supplemented with juniper oil (Juniperus sp.) and suggested its possible use to reduce chronic allograft nephropathy in humans. Acaricidal effects of extracts from Alaska cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) and eastern-red-cedar (Juniperus virginiana L.) woods may be useful in controlling ticks that cause Lyme=s disease in humans and animals (Panella et al., 1997) while Juniperus procera extracts contain anti-termite compounds (Kinyanjui et al., 2000).

A pharmacological screening of different Juniperus oxycedrus L. extracts found low acute toxicity and significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity as well as inhibition of rat paw edema induced by carrageenin (Moreno et al., 1998). Juniperus communis L. Aberries@ have been found to have a variety of pharmacodynamic effects including diuretic, carminative, antiseptic, abortive, and anti-diabetic activity (de Medina et al., 1993) while antitumor activities were found with a crude extract of Juniperus chinensis leaves (Ali et al., 1996). Most recently, Juniperus communis wood was tested for its use as an implant material in rabbits with concurrent toxicity studies on both oral and intravenous administrations. It was found that the low concentrations of oil that would be released were tolerated without any detrimental effects (Gross and Ezerietis, 2003).

Toxicity differs between the aromatic cedar species (Hausen, 1981; Mitchell and Roosk, 1979; Ohman 1984; Woods and Calnan, 1976). Most literature focuses on western-red-cedar wood (Thuja plicata) as an allergen in occupational asthma (Horne et al., 2000, Lin et al., 1996, Noertjojo et al., 1996). Few studies exist on Port-Orford-cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) or juniper wood (Juniperus communis) or their extracts (Gross and Ezerietis, 2003; Meding et al., 1996). Oral gavage of common juniper needles (Juniperus communis) caused abortion in late term pregnanciessimilar to pine needle induced abortion (Gardner et al., 1998). In a study of multiple juniper species extracts used in fragrance and biological additives in cosmetic formulations, there was little toxicity of the oil or tar in animals. Irritant effects on skin were not found with the oils, but there was some evidence of sensitization to the tar (Final report in the safety assessment of Juniperus communis extract, Juniperus oxycedrus extract, Juniperus oxycedrus tar, Juniperus phoenicea extract, and Juniperus virginiana extract, 2001). A juniper (Juniperus sp.) oil-based phytomedicine was tested for nephrotoxicity in Sprague-Dawley rats by oral administration of varying doses and all were found to be non-toxic (Schilcher and Leuschner, 1997). Commercial products of Port-Orford-cedar oil for use in pet care products to repel fleas and ticks are availablea. In two pilot studies at Oregon State University, no toxicity was found in dogs and horses bedded for six and one half months and for eight months respectively on western juniper shavings (Blythe et al., 2001).

The need for additional toxicity studies was identified by the wood products industry because unresolved questions were being raised about the use of western juniper, Port-Orford-cedar, and other aromatic cedar products for horse, dog, and laboratory animal bedding, as well as for fragrance products and topical applications for humans. This study was specifically undertaken to define potential toxicity of the essential oils in western juniper and Port-Orford-cedar. The hypothesis tested was that the application of the oil extracts to the dermis at levels found in shavings would not cause inflammation or skin pathology. Essential oils from western juniper and Port-Orford-cedar were tested for their capacity to induce a hypersensitivity response in mice as measured by the proliferation of lymphocytes in the local draining lymph nodes and in a primary dermal irritation study in rabbits.

2. Materials and Methods

2.1 Extraction and Analyses

Steam distilled essential oils were prepared from western juniper heartwood shavings from live trees harvested in Eastern Oregon and Port-Orford-cedar wood shavings from standing dead and down logs collected in Coos County, Oregon using protocols previously described (Tucker et al., 2000; Adams, 1987) (oil extract obtained from western juniper supplied from Karchesy Laboratory, College of Forestry, Oregon State University, and Port-Orford-cedar from Rose City Archerya). The extracted oils were then analyzed by GC/MS as described by Tucker (2000) and Adams (1987) to determine and reaffirm presence of the major chemical components. Mass spectra were recorded with 5970 Mass Selective detector (MSD)b coupled to a Hewlett Packard (HP) 5890 GCc using a DB-5 column (100m) for western juniper oil and a HP 50m X 0.2mm fused silica column coated with 0.33 um FFAP (crosslinked) for Port-Orford-cedar oil. The GC was operated under the following conditions: injector temperature at 250o C, oven temperature programmed to 60 o C and held for one minute and progressively to 115 o C at 2.5 C/min, 210 o C at 1 C/min and held for 30 minutes; the injection size was 1 ml split 1:10. The MSD ei was operated under the following conditions: electron impact source 70eV, 250 o C. Identification of peaks was made by retention indices and library searches of the GC/MS instrument library supplemented with searches of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)d, and Wileye libraries. The components of both oils are reported in Figure 1 and Table 1 respectively.

2.2 Animals

The Local Lymph Node Assay to test an oil’s capacity to induce a hypersensitivity response as measured by the proliferation of lymphocytes in the local draining lymph nodes was conducted in mice for both western juniper oil and Port-Orford-cedar oil extracts. Two groups of twenty-five nine week old female CBA/J mice from Jackson Laboratoriesf were selected for either the western juniper or Port Orford extract study. The number used is the minimum number recommended (NIH Publication No. 99-4494, 1999). Only mice considered suitable for use were placed on the study. Prior to treatment initiation, all mice were weighted. The weight ranges were from 19 to 24 grams. The mice were assigned to treatment groups using a computer-generated randomization method based on body weight. Mice were given identification numbers and identified by tail marks. Mice were housed (grouped five per cage) in compliance with the National Research Council “Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals”. Calvertg is a USDA Registered and fully Accredited AAALAC Facility. The animal room environment was controlled (target conditions: temperature 18 to 26oC, relative humidity 30 to 70%, 12 hours artificial light and 12 hours dark). Temperatures and relative humidity were monitored daily. All animals had access to Certified Rodent Diet #7012C (Harlan Tekladh) or equivalent ad libitum, unless otherwise specified. The lot numbers and specifications of each lot of all animals used are archived at Calvertg.

The rabbit is a standard species used in dermal irritation studies and is acceptable to regulatory agencies. The number of animals used in this study was the minimum number necessary to properly perform this type of study (Gad, 1994). Six male and six female twenty week and twenty four week old New Zealand White rabbits (HM:(NZW)fBR) from Covancei were used for testing each oil extract. Prior to testing, each rabbit was assessed as to their general health and acclimated/quarantined for a minimum of five days. Rabbits were placed on the study based upon sex, body weight, and apparent good health. All rabbits were housed individually and identified by ear tag numbers. The housing environment was the same as described above for the mice. All rabbits had access to Teklad Certified Rabbit Dieth ad libitum. Water was provided to the animals in all studies ad libitum. Periodic analyses of the water are performed and the results are archived at Calvertg. There are no known contaminants in the diet or water which at the levels detected would be expected to interfere with the purpose, conduct or outcome of the study.

2.3 Local Lymph Node Assay

The mice were weighed on Days 1 and 6. Groups of five mice were treated with 25µl on the dorsal surface of each of the ears once per day for three days with either the vehicle, olive oil, or the test article, western juniper or Port-Orford-cedar extracts, at concentrations of 0.5, 5 and 50%, or the positive control, 0.1% dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). On Day 6, the mice were injected with 20 µCi of 3H-thymidine. Five hours later, the mice were euthanized with CO2 and the draining auricular lymph nodes were removed. The lymph node cells were precipitated with 5% trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and the pellets counted in a ß-scintillation counter to determine incorporation of the 3H-thymidine. The mean decays per minute (DPM) for each group was determined. Increases in 3H-thymidine incorporation relative to vehicle-treated control were derived for each group and recorded as Stimulation Indices (SI). The criterion for a positive response is that one or more concentrations of a test article elicit a three-fold or greater increase in isotope incorporation relative to the vehicle control.

2.4 Acute Dermal Irritation Assay

Within 24 hours before the test, the fur was removed from the dorsal area of the trunk of each rabbit, being careful to avoid abrading the skin. In the first set of experiments utilizing the twenty week old rabbits, an undiluted Port-Orford-cedar extract or western juniper extract was administered once (0.5 ml/site) on the clipped skin of two rabbits. The extract was applied to a small area of skin and covered with a gauze patch. The patch was held in contact with the skin with a sheet of rubber dam. The trunk of the animal was wrapped with an elastic bandage dressing which was held in place with non-irritating tape for the duration of the exposure period. Access by the animal to the patch and resultant ingestion/inhalation of the test article was prevented.

At the end of the four hour exposure period, residual extract was removed using gauze and water without altering the existing response or the integrity of the epidermis. Each site was unwrapped and scored according to a technique described by Draize (1959). The scoring system examined the skin for the presence of erythema and edema. The former was graded as 0 for no erythema, with erythema scores of 1 for very slight, 2 for well defined, 3 for moderate to severe, and 4 for severe to eschar formation. Edema was scored in a similar manner with 0 indicating none, 1 very slight, 2 slight, 3 moderate, and 4 severe. A score for each animal was determined using the immediate, 24, 48, and 72 hour observations for calculations and dividing by four. The Primary Irritation Index (PII) is the sum of the scores for all of the animal scores that is divided by six. The PII is considered slight if less than 2, moderate if between 2 and 5, or severe if greater than 5. Due to moderate to severe erythema and slight edema recorded in the first two rabbits administered the Port-Orford-cedar extract, the extract was diluted with olive oil (1:1) and applied in a similar manner to the remaining four rabbits while the western juniper concentration remained undiluted. In a second set of experiments, using three female and three male twenty-four week old rabbits. Four intact skin sites per animal received either 5.0% or 0.5% concentrations of western juniper extract or Port-Orford-cedar extract in olive oil. The application and observation times were identical to those described above. Body weights were recorded at the beginning and termination of the study. All animals were euthanized by barbiturate overdose following experimental termination.

2.5 Statistical Analysis

Evaluation of equality of means of the data from the local lymph node study was made by a one way analysis of variance using the F distribution to assess statistical significance using Systat (version 9.01)j. If statistically significant differences between the means were found, a Dunnett’s test was used to determine the degree of significance from control means. The design of the acute dermal irritation study is such that statistical analysis was not necessary.

3.0 Results and Discussion

Figure 1 and Table 1 illustrate the major components of western juniper oil and Port-Orford-cedar oil extracts. The analyses of the components indicated that they were identical to those that had been isolated previously (Adams, 1987; Tucker et al., 2000). The concentration of extracted oil on a dry weight basis from the western juniper shavings was 1.68% (Adams, 1987) while the Port-Orford-cedar oil was 1.88% (Dr. D. Walker, Essex Laboratory, personal communication, December 29, 2003). The most severe dermal response of the primary dermal irritation study occurred in the initial two rabbits tested with undiluted Port-Orford-cedar extract. The PII score in these rabbits was 3.3. However, when this extract was diluted (1:1) with olive oil, the PII score dropped to 0.625. In the second set of dilution experiments, extracts of Port-Orford-cedar oil at 5% and 0.5% had PII scores of 1.1 and 0.3 respectively. At the 0.5% concentration of Port-Orford-cedar oil extract, the 0.3 score represented only one rabbit which showed a 1 in erythema (barely perceptible). All the other five rabbits scored 0. With the 5.0% concentration, one animal out of the six total showed very slight edema and erythema. Another rabbit showed no edema and very slight erythema. The four remaining rabbits had 0 for a score in both categories. By the end of the experiment, all six rabbits scored 0. Undiluted western juniper oil had a PII score of 2.7 indicating moderate irritation. However, at 5% concentration, western juniper extract had only very slight erythema (barely perceptible) and no edema. No signs of skin irritation were seen with the 0.5% dilution. Thus, at 0.5% concentration, western juniper oil was found to be a non-irritant. Finally, no changes in weight were noted nor were there any toxic clinical effects from any of the substances tested. The results of the Local Lymph Node Assay in the mice are seen in Table 2. Based on data from this study, Port-Orford-cedar oil at concentrations of 0.5, 5 and 50% did not induce a hypersensitivity response and therefore is not considered to be a sensitizer. Only western juniper oil extract at 50% concentration showed a positive response of 3.33 SI with 3.0 or greater representing a positive response and indicating a potential sensitizer. Lesser concentrations of 0.5% and 5% did not show a positive stimulation response. A recent review examined the use of relevant skin sensitization test methods. Three primary objectives of this review were to evaluate which methods best determined a) relative potency, b) the threshold dose necessary for induction of skin sensitization, and c) risk assessment. It was determined that for de novo investigations, the Local Lymph Node Assay is the recommended method for assessment of the influence of a new formulation on skin sensitizing potency. Utilizing this assay, neither western juniper nor Port-Orford-cedar oil extracts showed a positive response at levels to which animals would be commonly exposed on bedding made from shavings of these species. This conclusion is based on the fact that the percentage of western juniper or Port-Orford-cedar oil extracted by steam distillation is less than 2% by dry weight. Two pilot studies appear to support the interpretation that exposure to low concentrations of oil, such as in animal bedding made of western juniper or Port-Orford-cedar shavings, will not elicit a hypersensitivity response. These studies were conducted at Oregon State University with animals housed for greater than six months on western juniper shavings. Twelve healthy adult horses of mixed breeds were bedded on western juniper shavings for a minimum of twelve hours per day and for twenty-four hours a day during inclement weather. Baseline photographs were taken of the legs and ventral abdomen immediately prior to and at the end of the study. Blood samples were taken at the same times and analyzed for complete blood counts and for the following chemical concentrations: blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, creatine kinase, asparatate amino transferase, gamma glutamyl transferase, total bile acids, total protein, albumin, and bilirubin. The horses were examined daily for any possible foot, limb, or abdominal lesions. During and at the end of the study, there was no evidence of any skin lesions or any other clinical or biochemical abnormalities. In a parallel study, eight dogs, primarily Labrador Retrievers, were housed for 198 days on similar western juniper shavings. Physical examinations and blood analyses were identical to those evaluated in the horses. None of the parameters from any of the dogs had a statistically significant change and there were no signs of dermal hypersensitivity or abnormalities.

In summary, this study shows that low concentrations of oil extracts from either western juniper or Port-Orford-cedar had no toxic effects. Further, they did not elicit a hypersensitivity reaction nor a primary skin irritation at the low concentrations to which animals bedded on these materials would be exposed.


This project was supported by funds from the Oregon State University Agricultural Experiment Station. The authors wish to thank Calvert Preclinical Services, Inc. for performing the Primary Dermal Irritation Study and the Local Lymph Node Assay. Also, the authors wish to acknowledge the contributions of Dr. Joan Chapdelaine of Calvert Preclinical Services, Dr. Jennifer Duringer and Ms. Zelda Zimmerman.


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Table 1. Relative percentage of major components of Port-Orford-cedar shavings extracted by steam-distillation and GC/MS analyses.

Constituent %±s.d.

alpha-pinene 6.53 ± 0.02

limonene 2.69 ± 1.07

fenchone 4.67 ± 0.18

camphor 5.94 ± 1.05

alpha-fenchol 5.51 ± 1.06

alpha-terpineol 14.33 ± 5.80

alpha-muurolene 4.23 ± 1.56

delta-cadinene 8.17 ± 1.75

tau-cadinol 3.42 ± 1.18

alpha-cadinol 5.30 ± 1.77

Table 2. Local Lymph Node Assay results for juniper oil (Juniperus occidentalis) and Port Orford oil (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) extract toxicity study.

A. Results from Juniper oil

Group Treatment Dose DPM1 (mean ± sem) SI2 (Test/control Ratio) Results 1 Vehicle – 1131 ± 166 – – 2 Juniper oil 0.5% 1555 ± 181 0.83 – 3 Juniper oil 5% 935 ± 238 1.37 – 4 Juniper oil 50% 3767 ± 519 3.33 + 5 DNCB3 0.1% 18310 ± 2068*** 16.19 + B. Results from Port-Orford-cedar oil Group Treatment Dose DPM1 (mean ± sem) SI2 (Test/control Ratio) Results 1 Vehicle – 1469 ± 148 – – 2 Port-Orford-cedar oil 0.5% 803 ± 255 0.55 – 3 Port-Orford-cedar oil 5% 1379 ± 447 0.94 – 4 Port-Orford-cedar oil 50% 2579 ± 584 1.76 – 5 DNCB3 0.1% 19286 ± 3134*** 13.13 +

1DPM = decays per minute; 2SI = stimulation index; 3DNCB = dinitrochlorobenzene

Test/control ratio of 3.0 or greater represents a positive result

***Statistically significant difference compared to the vehicle control group (P < 0.001)

Figure 1. GC/MS chromatogram of the oil extract from western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) heartwood and the percentage composition of the major components on a dry weight basis. Cedrol (a) was 38.9%; thujopsene (b) was 18.9%; alpha-cedrene (c) was 8.8% and beta-cedrene (d) was 2.6%. The relative percent of yield of components (sum x percent) on a dry matter basis was 1.68%.

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