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Juniperus virginiana

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
jew-NIP-er-us ver-jin-ee-AY-nah
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Juniperus virginiana, commonly called Eastern red cedar, is a broadly conical, sometimes columnar, dense, evergreen conifer with horizontal branching that typically grows to 30-65’ tall. Its gray- to reddish-brown bark exfoliates in thin shreddy strips on mature trees. Its trunks are often fluted at the base.

The heartwood is light brown and aromatic and is commonly used for cedar chests. Wood is often used to make fence posts and rails as it is naturally rot resistant.

The Eastern red cedar is easily grown in average, dry to moist, well-drained soils in full sun. It will tolerate a wide range of soils and growing conditions, from swamps to dry rocky glades. It prefers moist soils but is intolerant of constantly wet soils. It has the best drought resistance of any conifer native to the eastern U.S.

This tree is an easy to transplant, tough, dependable tree, but considered weedy by many gardeners.  It is highly salt tolerant.   

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  This tree is susceptible to twig blight and scale. Bagworms are also a problem. Mites may occur.

Cultivars:
Tags:
#butterflies#evergreen#songbirds#poisonous#wildlife plant#weedy#salt tolerant#tough plant#winter interest#playground#coastal#small mammals#highly beneficial coastal plants#cpp#tscr#christmas tree#deer resistant#screens#children's garden#Christmas
Cultivars:
Tags:
#butterflies#evergreen#songbirds#poisonous#wildlife plant#weedy#salt tolerant#tough plant#winter interest#playground#coastal#small mammals#highly beneficial coastal plants#cpp#tscr#christmas tree#deer resistant#screens#children's garden#Christmas
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Juniperus
    Species:
    virginiana
    Family:
    Cupressaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The heartwood is light brown and aromatic and is commonly used for cedar chests. Wood is often used to make fence posts and rails as it is naturally rot resistant.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Wildlife Value:
    The Eastern red cedar provide winter cover.  It is a host plant for the Juniper Hairstreak butterfly.  Songbirds and small mammals eat the fruits.
    Play Value:
    Buffer
    Wildlife Enhancement
    Wind Screen
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This tree is moderately resistant to damage done by deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 30 ft. 0 in. - 65 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Pyramidal
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Blue
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Description:
    Berry-like cones.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Black
    Blue
    Gold/Yellow
    Gray/Silver
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Flower Description:
    This is a dioecious species (separate male and female trees). The pollen cones are small and yellowish on male trees, while the female trees produce round, gray to blackish-green berry-like cones (1/4” diameter) that ripen in fall the first year.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Acicular
    Subulate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    The Eastern redcedar has Dark blue-green scale-like foliage. The foliage may turn brown-green in winter. Cultivars of this species often retain better foliage color in winter.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Exfoliating
    Bark Description:
    Its gray- to reddish-brown bark exfoliates in thin shreddy strips on mature trees.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Salt
    Problems:
    Poisonous
    Weedy
  • Poison:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Large amounts may cause diarrhea.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Volatile oils including thujone.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves