Eastern Red Cedar

All About the Eastern Red Cedar:

Scientific Nomenclature: Juniperus virginiana

Common Names: Eastern red cedar, red juniper, Carolina cedar

Mature Height: 30–40 feet

Mature Spread: 10–20 feet

Growth Rate: Moderate

Attracts Wildlife: Pollinators, birds and small mammals

Messiness: Male and female cones will present on the tree through late autumn and winter and drop by early spring unless consumed by wildlife. Bark exfoliates in thin strips.

Shape: Pyramidal

Native to Kentucky: Yes

Preferred Soils: On average, eastern red cedar grows best in dry to moist, well-drained soils. It is tolerant of a wide range of soil types and growing conditions, from swamps to dry rocky glades. It is a pioneer species and is at times found growing on seemingly barren soil that few plants could tolerate. It is only intolerant of constantly wet soils.

Screening: Can be used as a screening tree or trimmed into a privacy hedge.

Drought Tolerance: Offers the best drought resistance of any conifer native to the eastern United States. However, this plant does have a very high flammability rating, so it’s suggested that you not plant eastern red cedar against or very close to your home.

Coniferous or Deciduous: Coniferous

Pruning: Does not typically need pruning other than to remove deadwood and damaged branches. If pruned into a privacy hedge or planted as a screening tree it will require regular maintenance to maintain its shape and appearance.

Climate Quick Facts:

Following being planted as a sapling, over 20 years one Eastern red cedar will:

  • Sequester ~406 pounds of CO2.
  • Reduce stormwater runoff by 88 gallons.