Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana)

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Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana)

A common medium-sized tree of old fields and other open areas. The dark green leaves, glaucous blue berry-like cones, and red heartwood are very fragrant.

Orange Co., NC 9/20/02.

Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana)

The fleshy cones are green in the spring, turning bluish with maturity, and have a white coating. Scale-like leaves are found on slow-growing shoots.

Juniper Hairstreak

Eastern Redcedar is a host plant for the Juniper Hairstreak butterfly. The female at left is laying eggs.

Durham Co., NC 6/8/03.

Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana)

Fast-growing young shoots have awl-like leaves. Trees often have both leaf types.

Eastern Redcedar is found throughout North Carolina, but most common in the Piedmont. Along the immediate coast, it is replaced by Southern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana var. silicicola)

Jones Co., NC 4/14/07.

Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana)

The bark shreds off in long, thin, fibrous strips. Squirrels often use it to build their nests.

Durham Co., NC 8/3/03.

Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana)

Open-grown trees normally have a distinctive dense columnar or conical shape.

Durham Co., NC 12/4/05.

Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana)

Eastern Redcedars are adept at hanging on in extreme situations. This upside-down tree somehow manages to cling to life on a vertical cliff face.

Great Falls National Park, Fairfax Co., VA 9/11/05.

More information:
NC State Fact Sheet
US Forest Service Silvics Manual
Virginia Tech Dendrology

Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of North Carolina


All photographs and text ©2012 by Will Cook unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.