Juniperus virginiana

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: red cedar
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Cupressaceae
Native Range: Eastern North America
Zone: 2 to 9
Height: 30.00 to 65.00 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 25.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Black Walnut, Air Pollution

Culture

Easily grown in average, dry to moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soils and growing conditions, from swamps to dry rocky glades. Prefers moist soils, but has the best drought resistance of any conifer native to the eastern U. S.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Eastern red cedar is native to Missouri where it typically occurs on limestone bluffs and glades, wood margins, fields, pastures and fence rows throughout the state except for the southeastern lowlands (Steyermark). It is a broadly conical, sometimes columnar, dense, evergreen conifer with horizontal branching that typically grows to 30-65’ tall. Gray to reddish-brown bark exfoliates in thin shreddy strips on mature trees. Trunks are often fluted at the base. Heartwood is light brown and aromatic, and is commonly used for cedar chests. Dark blue green scale-like foliage. Foliage may turn brown-green in winter. Cultivars of this species often retain better foliage color in winter. This is a dioecious species (separate male and female trees). Female trees produce round, gray to blackish-green berry-like cones (1/4” diameter) that ripen in fall the first year. Berry-like cones are attractive to many birds.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Cedar apple rust is common in many areas. Susceptible to twig blight. Watch for bagworms.

Garden Uses

Landscape specimen. Large screens.