Eastern Red Cedar


Eastern Red Cedar

Juniperus virginiana

Family: cupressaceae

Leaf Type: Evergreen

Mature Height: 6-15 m (~20-50 ft)

Fall Color: N/A

Native Range: Eastern red cedars are natively found throughout the Midwest to much of the East coast with a variant that extends to most of Florida.



The leaves of Eastern red cedars are different than deciduous trees and look more similar to pines and firs, especially on younger trees. On mature trees, the leaves are pressed, scale-like, and dark green. In the winter, some leaves may be a reddish-brown color. Eastern red cedars are non-flowering trees that produce seed cones. These seed cones are small and light blue, resembling berries. We recommend not sampling the fruits & nuts of the trees and plants here at Adventure Science Center. The bark is very distinctive on mature Eastern red cedars. It is reddish-brown and exfoliates, or peels, in thin strips.

Eastern Red Cedar 3

Fun Facts

● This tree gets its name from the reddish hue of the wood.
● The Eastern red cedar is the state evergreen of Tennessee. Evergreen means it does not lose its leaves in winter.
● The small, light blue seed cones of the Eastern red cedar resemble berries and can be used to make gin.
● Cedar wood is commonly used for closet lining and chests.

“If Trees Could Sing” is a project of The Nature Conservancy that highlights several recording artists and demonstrates the importance of trees. Check out what Mike Farris has to say about Eastern red cedars. 
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