Landowner Fact Sheets

eastern redcedar Juniperus virginiana play

Eastern redcedar is a common conifer growing on a wide variety of sites across a broad range of eastern and central states. It is valued for its wood quality and its ability to provide wildlife with food and cover. Eastern redcedar is also useful as a soil stabilizer and a wind-break.

range map Click to see more images. wood grain

This species is not commonly regenerated. Methods that provide an abundance of light, such as clearcuts and seed-trees will work, especially on lower quality sites. Growth can be accelerated by competition control and thinning.

Eastern redcedar is very common on poor, dry soils of many types, especially on limestone soils. It often invades old fields.


A small tree with a dense ovoid or columnar crown reaching up to 60 feet tall.

Timber Value
Eastern redcedar is used for cedar-scented closets and chests, fenceposts, lumber, poles, boats, paneling, pencils, and cedarwood oil, a fragrant extract.

Wildlife Value
The dense habit of eastern redcedar provides birds and deer with good cover. Fruits are eaten by many different species of birds and mammals.
Attracts waxwings, bobwhite, quail, ruffed grouse, pheasant, turkey, rabbit, fox, raccoon, skunk, opossum, coyote

Insects and Diseases

Fun Facts
The berries of Juniperus species are used to provide gin with its characteristic flavor - in fact, "gin" is a version of "Juniper". Cedar chests and lined closets prevent moth damage to wool clothing because the volatile cedar oil is a natural insecticide. While difficult to age because of missing rings, the oldest known eastern redcedar are nearly 1000 years old.

Latin Meaning
Juniperus: Latin name from "junio" (young) and "parere" (to produce) - evergreen / virginiana: of Virginia

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Landowner Factsheets © 2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.