Eastern Redcedar

Juniperus virginiana

Copyright E.R. Degginer/Color-Pic, Inc.

Copyright, Mark Brand

Eastern Redcedar is an evergreen tree that is often seen as a shrub. As a tree, it can grow up to 40 feet tall. They are very narrow and compact. Leaves are scaly and green, and very short.

Eastern Redcedars grow in fields, on roadsides, and in woods as an understory tree. They are often pioneers, meaning one of the first trees to take over a field.

The bark of these trees is reddish-brown, and peeling off in shreds.

Copyright 2001, Virginia Tech

Copyright, E.R. Degginger/Color-Pic, Inc.

Eastern Redcedars have two types of flowers which bloom in the Spring. Male flowers are yellowish-brown and female flowers are light bluish-green.

The flowers give way to berry-like cones that are light green at first, before turning blue. Cones are about 1/4 inch wide. They do not become mature until September. These cones are consumed by many animals.

Eastern Redcedars are usually found together with the following trees: Eastern White Pine, Virginia Pine, Loblolly Pine, Sassafras, hickories, oaks, maples, American Beech, and Black Walnut.

White-tailed Deer, mice, and rabbits eat young redcedars, but this tree is best known for its fruit. Cones are eaten by many birds and mamals, including: American Robin, Cedar Waxwing, Northern Bobwhite, turkey, starling, Mourning Dove, Northern Mockingbird, Purple Finch, American Crow, Northern Flicker, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Bluebird, rabbits, foxes, squirrels, skunks, opossums, and raccoons, among others.

Copyright, Mark Brand

Eastern Redcedars are also important providers of protective cover for birds and small mammals, as well as nest sites for birds. Deer hide among them and juncos, robins, sparrows, mockingbirds, and Eastern Screech Owls nest in them.

Bagworm moths eat the leaves, sometimes killing the young trees. Many fungi are parasites of Eastern Redcedar, especially polypore fungi.

Earthworms do very well in soil where Eastern Redcedars grow, because this tree changes the chemical composition of the soil, making it healthier for the worms to live in.

Relationships in Nature:

Animals Using as Food Source

Animals Using as Shelter

Associations With Other Plants


Eastern Cottontail

Eastern Screech Owl

Black Oak

Earthworm C

White-tailed Deer

American Robin

Eastern White Pine

Poison Ivy Pa

Meadow Vole

White-tailed Deer

Virginia Pine

Virginia Creeper Pa

American Robin

Northern Mockingbird


American Robin D

Northern Mockingbird

Dark-eyed Junco

Loblolly Pine

Northern Cardinal D

Wild Turkey

Eastern Cottontail

Red Maple

Wild Turkey D

Red Fox

Barred Owl

American Beech

Eastern Cottontail D

Striped Skunk

American Dog Tick

Black Walnut

Raccoon D


Green Darner

Mockernut Hickory

Red Fox D

Virginia Opossum

Northern Cardinal

American Holly

Striped Skunk D

Downy Woodpecker

White-throated Sparrow

White Oak

Cedar Waxwing D

Eastern Bluebird

Chinese Mantid

Wild Grape

Eastern Bluebird D

Mourning Dove

Brown-headed Cowbird

Smooth Sumac

Meadow Vole D

Common Crow

Mourning Dove


European Gypsy Moth C

Cedar Waxwing

American Goldfinch


Northern Mockingbird D

Purple Finch

Spring Peeper

Tussock Sedge

Virginia Opossum D

Bagworm Moth

Carolina Chickadee

Evergreen Blackberry

Mourning Dove D

Northern Cardinal

Tufted Titmouse

Japanese Honeysuckle

American Goldfinch D

European Starling

Common Grackle

Black-eyed Susan

European Starling D

Bald Eagle

Black Locust

Relationship to Humans:

Eastern Redcedars are used by people in many ways. The wood of this tree is very attractive, and workable, so it is used for fenceposts, poles, paneling, furniture, woodenware, pencils, bedding for pets, and chests. It has some insect-repelling properties, so it is used to help repel clothes moths. Shavings are put into closets, or liners.

As an ornament, Eastern Redcedars are used as Christmas trees, and as hedges.

Eastern Redcedars are also very good for attracting wildlife.


Juniperus virginiana


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