Eastern Red Cedar
Juniperus virginiana

Location in Ontario

Eastern Red Cedar is found throughout the Deciduous Forest Region, along Lake Huron, Georgian Bay and the Ottawa River. It can be found growing on rocky ridges and dry, sandy soil.
 


Young Red Cedar, Long Point Provincial Park, Norfolk County
 

Genus Juniperus
This genus is made up of small trees or shrubs that are evergreen. Leaves are scales or needles. Pollen cones are catkin-like, seed cones are globular, becoming berry-like, fragrant and dark blue. In Southern Ontario, Eastern Red Cedar is the only Juniperus of tree size.

In the Landscape
Eastern Red Cedar is a very small tree that grows up to 10 metres, but can live to be 300 years old!It can be used as a windbreak, but Eastern White Cedar is more commonly used for this purpose. Eastern Red Cedar makes a nice, evergreen lawn specimen with its pretty blue berry-like cones.

TREE FACT: Even though Juniperus virginiana is known as Eastern Red "Cedar", it is not a true cedar. True cedars grow only in the western Himalayas and the Mediterranean.


Large Red Cedar, Rondeau Provincial Park

Leaves
This coniferous tree has leaves that are scales.
Bark
The bark is reddish-brown with shreds.
Cones
The seeds are in cones that are dark blue and resemble berries. The cones are coated with a whitish powder. Cones are produced after 10 years of growth, every 2 to 3 years.

Wood
The wood is moderately heavy and hard. It is widely used for cedar chests, cabinets, and fence posts.
Specific gravity: 0.47
Janka Hardness: 900 lb
Wood Comparison Chart

Red Cedar wood is strongly aromatic and resistant to decay.

TREE FACT: Pelee Island once had large stands of red cedar which were cut down and shipped to Welland, where they were used to build the Welland Canal.


Reddish colour in the winter, Norfolk County

Link to United States Forest Service Silvics Manual for Eastern Red Cedar.

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