Eastern red cedar

Juniperus virginiana L.

Cupressaceae (Cypress family)


An evergreen tree, eastern red cedar is a member of the Cypress family. It is an aggressive invader that spreads mainly by seed.

Although variable, its shape tends to be like a Christmas tree. Eastern red cedar generally reaches 20 to 30 feet tall. Its bark is light reddish brown and separates into long strips.

The small, purplish flowers are deciduous, occurring from March to May. The fruits ripen from September to December. The berry-like fruits are pale blue, smooth and sweet to the taste.

The forage value of eastern red cedar is poor for livestock and fair for wildlife.


Eastern red cedar grows in all types of soils, from hilltops to swamps.