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Eastern Red Cedar (T)

Scientific Name

Juniperus virginiana

Wildlife Value


Average height




Shade Tolerance

Very Intolerant

Drought Tolerance

Very tolerant

Growth Rate



Seed cones berrylike

Special Characteristics


Transplant Size 9" to 15"



General Description

Red Cedar is a dense slow-growing tree that may never become more than a bush on poor soil, but is ordinarily from 16–66 ft tall, with a short trunk 12–39 in diameter. A small tree with thin bark along with its short trunk and irregular, pyramidal crown native to Minnesota.



Common diseases include cedar-apple rust (Gymnosporangium) and Kabatina tip blight. Common insect pests include spider mites. Red cedars should not be planted near apple, crabapple, juneberries, or hawthorns due to increased risk of damage by Gymnosporangium rusts. Cedar oil extract of Juniperus species has been effective control of clothes moths.



They are an important winter food for many birds, which disperse the wingless seeds. The fine-grained, soft brittle pinkish- to brownish-red heartwood is fragrant, very light and very durable, even in contact with soil. Because of its rot resistance, the wood is used for fence posts. The aromatic wood is avoided by moths, so it is in demand as lining for clothes chests and closets, often referred to as cedar closets and cedar chests. If correctly prepared, it makes excellent English longbows, flatbows, and Native American sinew-backed bows. The wood is marketed as "eastern redcedar" or "aromatic cedar". Juniper oil is distilled from the wood, twigs and leaves. The cones are used to flavor gin and as a kidney medicine. During the Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s, the Prairie States Forest Project encouraged farmers to plant shelterbelts (wind breaks) made of eastern juniper throughout the Great Plains. They grow well under adverse conditions. Both drought tolerant and cold tolerant, they grow well in rocky, sandy, and clay substrate. Competition between trees is minimal, so they can be planted in tightly spaced rows, and the trees still grow to full height, creating a solid windbreak in a short time.

Eastern Red Cedar (bundle of 25)

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