eastern red cedar
eastern red cedar

What Is Eastern Red Cedar?

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eastern red cedar
Eastern red cedar (scientific name: Juniperus Virginiana) is a tree that is very common in the eastern US. Other common names: Pencil Cedar, Carolina Cedar, Red Juniper, Red Savin, Virginia Juniper. You can find this tree easily on road cuts, scattered across abandoned field, and in fence rows. Simply, this tree lives at areas with limestone soils. It has reddish wood and also has cedar chest scent. Then, the fruits are also flavored.

In addition, this tree is also soil, salt and heat tolerant so that it can grow well at different climates. Usually, it is used for clumps, screens, hedges and even as specimen trees.
eastern red cedar tree

Hardiness Zones

For you who are interested in plating eastern red juniper tree, you have to know about its hardiness zones. This tree is able to grow in 2 to 9 hardiness zones.

As a shade tree, this red cedar features a spreading canopy that is able to block sunlight. So, if you sit down under this tree, it feels very comfortable.

Growth Rate

In relation to eastern red cedar tree size, you have to know about the growth rate first. This tree has medium rate of growth where the height improves around 13 to 24 inches per year. For the height, it usually reaches about 40’ to 50’ whereas the spread reaches 8’ to 20’ when it is matured.
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Tips for Planting

If you want to plant this evergreen tree, there are at least 2 important aspects to pay attention. The first relates to sun preference. Ideally, eastern red juniper plant gets full sun. It means this tree should be exposed by the direct sunlight at least 6 hours every day.

The second is about soil preference. You have to make sure that you plant it in the right soil. This tree can grow in clay, well-drained, silty loam, sandy, moist, loamy, alkaline, and acidic soils.


There are many eastern red juniper cedar facts that are very important to know. By knowing these facts, you will understand it more.

  • This tree grows best in the open areas and loves the direct sunlight.
  • This tree has scale-like green leaves with rounded / 4-sided branchlets.
  • This tree produces gray / bluish-green rounded fruit around ¼ inch in diameter.
  • This tree develops deep roots.
  • This tree is tolerant to salt, wind and heat.
  • This tree grows in pyramidal or columnar shape.
  • This tree should be far from apple trees because of the cedar-apple rust.

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Wildlife Value

Did you know that this red cedar tree is also beneficial for wildlife? We can see it from the following aspects. The twigs & foliage of this tree are usually eaten by browsers. One the other hand, its fruits can be eaten by cedar waxwings mostly.

Besides that, evergreen foliage will provide nesting as well as roosting cover for warblers, juncos, mockingbirds, robins and sparrows. That is all about this American ancient tree. Now, many people or manufacturers use its woods in often.