Eastern redcedar is not a true cedar. It is a juniper and the most widely distributed native conifer in the Eastern United States. It is found in every state east of the 100th meridian. This hardy tree is often among the first trees to occupy cleared areas where its seeds are spread by cedar waxwings and other birds that enjoy the fleshy, bluish seed cones.
Redcedar is an evergreen growing 40 to 50 feet tall in an oval, columnar, or pyramidal form (very diverse) and spreading 8 to 15 feet when given a sunny location. Red cedar develops a brownish tint in winter in the north and is sometimes used in windbreaks or screens.
Forestryimages.org provides several images of parts of Eastern redcedar. The tree is a conifer and the lineal taxonomy is Pinopsida > Pinales > Cupressaceae > Juniperus virginiana L. Eastern Redcedar is also commonly called southern juniper, southern red cedar and cedar.
The Range of Eastern Redcedar
Eastern redcedar is the most widely distributed conifer of tree size in the Eastern United States and is found in every State east of the 100th meridian. The species extends northward into southern Ontario and the southern tip of Quebec. The range of eastern redcedar has been considerably extended, especially in the Great Plains, by natural regeneration
from planted trees.
"In the absence of fire, eastern redcedar thrives and may eventually dominate prairie or forest vegetation. Prescribed fire is generally effective at controlling eastern redcedar invasion in grasslands. Spring burning is appropriate for eastern redcedar treatment because leaf water content is relatively low in late spring. Spring burns usually kill eastern redcedar up to 3.3 feet (1 m) tall, though larger trees up to 20 feet (6 m) are occasionally killed."
Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana), also called red juniper or savin, is a common coniferous species growing on a variety of sites throughout the eastern half of the United States. Although eastern redcedar is generally not considered to be an important commercial species, its wood is highly valued because of its beauty, durability, and workability.