Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Red Cedar Juniper, Eastern Red Cedar
Juniperus virginiana

Family: Cupressaceae (koo-press-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Juniperus (jew-NIP-er-us) (Info)
Species: virginiana (vir-jin-ee-AN-uh) (Info)

9 vendors have this plant for sale.

14 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


over 40 ft. (12 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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By Floridian
Thumbnail #1 of Juniperus virginiana by Floridian

By hczone6
Thumbnail #2 of Juniperus virginiana by hczone6

By hczone6
Thumbnail #3 of Juniperus virginiana by hczone6

By Floridian
Thumbnail #4 of Juniperus virginiana by Floridian

By Jeff_Beck
Thumbnail #5 of Juniperus virginiana by Jeff_Beck

By Jeff_Beck
Thumbnail #6 of Juniperus virginiana by Jeff_Beck

By sweezel
Thumbnail #7 of Juniperus virginiana by sweezel

There are a total of 33 photos.
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8 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive scotjute On Feb 22, 2012, scotjute from Moody, TX wrote:

This is a very dependable evergreen for most of the country.
One of the few evergreens that can take the heat, drought, and alkaline soil of central Texas. It retains a beautiful cone-shape when young that will eventually transform into a more spreading form when older. Mine have grown about 2-2 1/2'/yr. when watered regularly; 12-16"/year when not.

Positive theNobody14161 On Jan 10, 2010, theNobody14161 from Kalamazoo, MI wrote:

Eastern redcedar tolerats an exceptional range of moisture. It is currently growing in our cattial marsh and under a hardwood overstory on a dry sandy-textured hill. Birds like this tree.

Positive tabasco On Nov 20, 2009, tabasco from Cincinnati (Anderson Twp), OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

The Eastern Red Cedar is a favorite shrub to attract Eastern Bluebirds. They love the berries.

Positive mike3764 On May 7, 2007, mike3764 from Stewartstown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Purchased as a 4 to 5 foot tall plant in the Spring of 2005. Had a few berries the first fall/winter. It has started to grow very well now showing over a foot of new growth in early May of 2007. Even have a pair of Mockingbirds building a nest in it this year. So far so good!

Positive CaptMicha On Apr 6, 2006, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

I've found Junipers growing in my woods. I have a hard time finding or even growing evergreens in alkaline soil and in shade but Juniperus virginiana does fine and even manages to produce some berries.

When grown in shade, they stay smaller and more urn shaped like young trees.

I only notice the fragrance when the foliage is crushed.

Neutral TREEHUGR On Jun 23, 2004, TREEHUGR from Now in Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

My variety is called Southern Red Cedar. From what I understand, it's the same thing. I have 8 of these trees. Actually make that 7 because I just took one out. They are a great choice for the look of those beautiful evergreens you see up north, that don't fare well here in zone 9.

Although I think it's a great looking tree, I have to give it a neutral because these really aren't all that practical in home landscapes unless you have a lot of room or only want to plant one as a specimin tree.

The reasons are they get large with a wide spread. 50x20 or so. And that uses up a lot of valuable space in the yard for other plants when they get big. Thus, finding a good spot for the trees in a small yard is tough. Removing them, due to their strong valuable wood, is expensive. And transplating them once they become established, sadly, is not possible without a tree spade truck. To make matters worse, if you wanted to plant several in a row or other pattern and can only afford small trees, if one of them should die 10 years down the road, you will be left with a big awkward gap in your pattern. Of course you can shave off the lower branches for a funky looking bonsai type appearance.

Aside from the apple rust issue already mentioned, I have read (but haven't confirmed) that there is some level of autotoxicity with these which would prevent other plants from doing well underneath or immediately nearby. So consider it a rumor, but it would definitely effect my choice if I could do it over.

This tree isn't a solution for fast privacy because the growth rate is slow, about 2 feet per year. Yes, I call that slow considering willows, poplars and sycamores grow much faster for shade.

But enough complaining. This tree SMELLS GREAT! I love to smell it, but the mosquitoes can't stand the smell, and the tree is known to repel mosquitoes. Don't plant it for that reason though because you will still get plenty of bites!

This tree is hard to find in retail garden center nurseries in FL. You may have to hunt to find it, but a good alternative is Leyland Cypress and that is available in many nurseries like Lowes.

I would recommend if you want to have these trees in your yard, plant in random locations near (but not too close) to windows and doors. This way when you walk outside or people come to your house, or you open your windows, you have that wonderful alpine scent, and folks, that alone is reason to have a Southern Red Cedar.

Positive dogbane On Nov 9, 2003, dogbane from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Strong native tree, with a beautiful shape - urn-like when young, assymetrical with age. One of the few cedar/juniper trees for south Louisiana.

Positive berrygirl On Aug 25, 2003, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

i have probably 20 or so in my yard of various heights. i love them and are constantly getting comments from folks telling me how lovely they look. they grow very fast here in z7b and are gorgeous with lites on them at Christmas (outdoors that is). i love to go up to them and smell them in summer to remind me the holidays are coming. several have been damaged by ice but have fully recovered after a couple growing seasons. they make great privacy trees!!!

Negative Terry On Jul 31, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

If you have apple trees, this is not a good plant to have growing anywhere in the vicinity, as it acts as the alternate host for Cedar-apple rust, the fungus Gymnosporangium juniperivirginianae. The presence of the fungus is evidenced by orange and gelatinous galls on the Juniper. Since Junipers are so prevalent in most parts of the country, planting disease-resistant apples and applying fungicide are the most effective defenses.

Positive KK_MEM On Jun 9, 2003, KK_MEM from Collierville, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Planted five in 2000 and pretty much like what I was told: "plant them and forget them." Here in zone 7 the foliage turns a bronze shade in winter, but otherwise is a nice evergreen. Survived freezing rain with grace. Has not been bothered by diseases or pests. One spring when we had a lot of rain, they were in standing water for a good two/three days - no matter. They are very strong performers in full sun. Berries are very nice and attracts birds. Love them.

Neutral Floridian On Nov 27, 2001, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Red cedar is an evergreen growing 40 to 50 feet tall and spreading 8 to 12 feet. Red cedar develops a brownish tint in winter and is sometimes used in windbreaks. The fruit is a blue berry and is ornamental when produced in quantity.
Eastern red cedar is a common coniferous species found in every State east of the 100th meridian. Its wood is highly valued because of its beauty, durability, and workability. It provides cedarwood oil for fragrance compounds, food and shelter for wildlife, and protective vegetation for fragile soils.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Saraland, Alabama
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Hereford, Arizona
Morrilton, Arkansas
Beacon Falls, Connecticut
Bartow, Florida
Deland, Florida
Dunnellon, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Lecanto, Florida
Ocala, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Osprey, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Athens, Georgia
Braselton, Georgia
Douglas, Georgia
Monroe, Georgia
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Benton, Kentucky
Calvert City, Kentucky
Crestwood, Kentucky
Hi Hat, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Mc Dowell, Kentucky
Salvisa, Kentucky
Taylorsville, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Slaughter, Louisiana
Thibodaux, Louisiana
Vacherie, Louisiana
Brookeville, Maryland
Riverdale, Maryland
Valley Lee, Maryland
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Waynesboro, Mississippi
Cole Camp, Missouri
Frenchtown, New Jersey
Willsboro, New York
Burlington, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Belfield, North Dakota
Cleveland, Ohio
Felicity, Ohio
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Greencastle, Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Stewartstown, Pennsylvania
Beaufort, South Carolina
Bluffton, South Carolina
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Irmo, South Carolina
Lexington, South Carolina
Pelion, South Carolina
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Cleveland, Tennessee
Collierville, Tennessee
Dickson, Tennessee
Middleton, Tennessee
Dallas, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Lone Oak, Texas
Moody, Texas
Royse City, Texas
Willis, Texas
Chantilly, Virginia
Urbanna, Virginia
Liberty, West Virginia

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