Eastern Red Cedar Tree

By: C. Colston Burrell
The eastern red cedar tree is useful for landscaping, hedges, or even topiary. See more pictures of trees.

Eastern red cedar tree is the common upright juniper of the eastern half of North America. It is a highly variable plant, but always forms a relatively conical silhouette of up to 50 feet. Many choice selections are popular in landscaping.

Description of eastern red cedar tree: The species generally has dark green, scalelike needles that persist throughout the year, although they may take on a reddish tinge in winter. Cultivated forms have been selected that remain the same shade year-round. The berries, borne on female plants only, are blue. The attractive reddish bark, peeling off in long strips, is most visible on mature specimens.


Growing eastern red cedar tree: The eastern red cedar requires full sun to grow well and prefers rich, moist, well-draining soils. It is, however, surprisingly adaptable and will even thrive on poor, gravelly soils. It appears to do equally well in acid or moderately alkaline soils. The plant can be pruned as needed.

Uses for eastern red cedar tree: This tree offers a wide range of uses. It is most popular as a columnar tree for landscape planting, but is also excellent for hedges and screens, even for topiary. It is also quite tolerant of seashore conditions. The wood is highly valued for its rich red color and fragrance.

Related species of easter red cedar tree: The western counterpart of the eastern red cedar is the Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum). It is available in many varieties of varying shades of green and bluish green.

Related varieties of eastern red cedar tree: The varieties of the eastern red cedar are too numerous to mention. The most popular ones are narrowly upright with grayish to bluish needles.

Scientific name for eastern red cedar tree: Juniperus virginiana


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