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Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)


The Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is one of my favorite native trees. It is a pioneer species that often colonizes old fields, eventually yielding to other species such as maple and oak.

The bark is typically redish-brown and shreds in long strips on mature trees. It has green to blue-green evergreen foliage that often darkens or turns bronze in the winter. It is dioecious (separate male and female plants). The females bear blue, berry-like cones that are prized by birds and small mammals, especially during the winter months. Eastern Red Cedars also provide protection and great nesting sites.

They are not true cedars but rather a member of the juniper family. Like cedars, their wood is aromatic and rot resistant. The foliage also has a fragrance reminiscent of cedar.

Notes -

Take care not to plant close to apple trees because the Eastern Red Cedar can be an alternate host for cedar apple rust.

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