Juniperus virginiana

Eastern Redcedar




  • native to east and central North America
  • zone 3
  • often an early colonizer of old farm fields
  • commonly found along interstate highway medians

Habit and Form

  • evergreen tree
  • conical shape in youth, opening with age
  • 40' to 50' tall by 8' to 15' wide, usually smaller than this
  • moderate growth rate
  • medium texture

Summer Foliage

  • scale-like and awl-like leaves
  • arranged in a 4-rank pattern
  • needles are closely pressed to stem and tend to overlap
  • needles are pointed
  • medium green in color
  • needles have a strong cedar scent to them

Autumn Foliage

  • evergreen
  • needles have a bronze cast during cold months


  • plants can be monoecious or dioecious
  • male flower yellow and female green
  • male flowers have 10-12 stamens
  • blooms in late winter


  • berry-like cones, mature in one year
  • 0.25" in diameter
  • waxy, blue appearance


  • reddish brown coloring
  • shreds in long strips


  • easily transplanted
  • tolerant of most conditions
  • pH adaptable
  • full sun

Landscape Use

  • specimen
  • screen
  • mass plantings
  • groupings
  • windbreaks
  • foundation plantings
  • wood used for cedar products, fence posts
  • difficult sites


  • susceptible to bagworm and cedar-apple rust
  • source of many allergy problems due to pollen, especially in the south

ID Features

  • both scale-like and awl-like foliage
  • medium green needle color
  • bronze winter color
  • needles arranged in a 4-rank pattern
  • waxy, blue fruits; small
  • needle tips pointed
  • branches have a strong cedar scent
  • upright form


  • by cuttings for cultivars
  • by seed


'Burkii' - This pyramidal 20' tall plant has blue-green needles with a purplish cast in winter. It is a non-fruiting male clone.

'Canaertii' - A common cultivar, this plant grows as a compact pyramid to perhaps 25' tall after many years. The deep green needles are borne on the tips of the branches and the profuse fruit are bloomy blue.

'Emerald Sentinel' - This is a new pyramidal, columnar for growing 20' tall and only 8' wide. The foliage is dark green and the color is held well in winter. It is a fruiting female variety.

'Glauca' - This name serves as an umbrella for many clones with bluish needles, often fading in summer. Most grow 15'-20' tall with a pyramidal form. 'Manhattan Blue' is similar, growing to 12' tall.

'Grey Owl' - A low spreading form to 18" tall with 3' to 6' spread, this plant bears fine, feathery foliage of a silver-blue color. It is a compact, spreading grower only growing 6' tall but much wider in time. It is an abundant fruiting clone.

'Hillspire' - This male clone assumes a symmetical pyramidal habit with healthy green foliage. The foliage color is maintained in winter.

'Pendula' (also listed as f. pendula) - Many clones carry this name, and most have spreading limbs with pendulous branchlets. They can grow to 40' tall and feature abundant blue fleshy cones.

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database,, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.