I would like to carve something out of juniper cut down last week. I intend to make something like a hiking stick or some small decoration pieces, so nothing big or critical.
How long should the wood dry before I can start to work with it?
Usually you should let green wood dry for 2 years before carving objects out of them or using it to build something. Depending on the local climate, the size of the wood block (or tree) and how you dry it, the time may shorten to several months or extend to 5 years.
But if you have branch or stem and want to make it into a walking stick, such a long wait won't be nessecary. First remove the bark and let it dry for a few days. Add ornaments only after the surface feels dry or you'll end up with splinters.