|Latin (group) name: Juniperus|
|Latin (specific) name: Juniperus Virginiana Linnaeus|
|Average max height: 20' to 50'|
|Average diameter: 1' to 2'|
|Associated state: Tennessee|
|Category: American Woods|
The Softwoods - Conifers
Eastern Redcedar is usually a medium sized tree from 20 to 50 feet high with a short trunk one to two feet in diameter. Some trees have been found 120 feet high and four feet in diameter. The tree grows rather slowly. The bark is very thin, light-reddish-brown, and from one-eighth to one-quarter inch thick. It is shreddy and peels off in narrow shaggy strips. Because of its reddish bark and wood the Canadian French called the Eastern Redcedar “baton rouge,” meaning red stick, from which the capitol of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, was named. Dark purple-blue berries one-quarter to three-eighths inch in diameter grow on the small, rather ﬂat leaf sprays. These berries possess some medicinal and ﬂavoring properties, and are relished by birds and small forest mammals. The tree is fairly symmetrical and uniformly conical in shape. It is in fact a juniper and not a true cedar species. Eastern Redcedar is one of twelve species of Juniper native to the United States. It is the unofficial State tree of Tennessee.
Common Names in Use
- Eastern Red Cedar (trade)
- Cedar (Conn., Pa., N.J., S.C., Ky., Ill., Iowa, Ohio)
- Cedre (La)
- Juniper (N.Y., Pa.)
- Juniper Bush (Minn.)
- Red Cedar (N. H., Vt., Mass., R.I., N.Y., N.J., Pa., Del., Va., W.Va., N. C., S.C., Ga., Fla., Ala., Miss., La., * Ky., Mo., Ill., Ind., Wis., Iowa, Mich., Minn., Ohio, Ontario and hort.)
- Tennessee Red Cedar (trade)
Eastern Redcedar grows through the eastern half of North America from Maine, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, southern Quebec and Ontario to southeastern North Dakota, southward to eastern Texas and eastward to northern Florida. Along the coastal plain from South Carolina to Florida, Eastern Redcedar and Southern Redcedar are difﬁcult to distinguish and are usually marketed as one species.
The sapwood of Eastern Redcedar is very narrow and is nearly white, or light-cream color. The heartwood, which generally has many small knots because of the many branches and short trunk, is dull to bright or pinkish-red, sometimes with a purple-red tinge and often streaked a deep reddish-brown. It is highly and pleasantly aromatic. The wood is moderately soft, medium heavy, brittle, ﬁne textured, even in grain, and usually straight except in extremely suppressed trees. It is a favorite wood of the craftsman, for it is very easily worked with all types of tools, has good carving and whittling qualities, stays in place, and takes a beautiful natural ﬁnish.
Eastern Redcedar is used chieﬂy for chests, cabinets, wardrobes and closet lining because of its beautiful coloring, sound knots, which are variable and attractive, and its aromatic fragrance which is reputedly a good preventive for moth destruction, The wood is also a favorite for lead pencils, cigar boxes and is especially in demand for souvenir novelties of all kinds. To a limited extent this wood is used for furniture, canoes and interior ﬁnish. The wood is especially durable, making it desirable for cooperage such as buckets, for small boat construction, posts and poles, shingles, and to some extent general building purposes. The available supply for these uses, however, is gradually becoming more limited except for posts. It is well suited to many types of projects of the hobbyist and the homework shop. Cedar leaf oil used in medicine is distilled from the leaves, and Cedar-wood oil is distilled from the twigs and wood.
|355||Juniperus Virginiana Linnaeus
Eastern Red Cedar at South Riding Golf Course in South Riding, Virginia
Attribution: Famartin [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
|357||Eastern Redcedar Fruit Berries
Eastern Red Cedar fruit along Centerview Drive in Chantilly, Fairfax County, Virginia
Attribution: Famartin [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
|365||Eastern Red Cedar Characteristics
This image was from the book Important Forest Trees of the Eastern United States From: Trees of North America a Golden Field Guide
Attribution: C. Frank Brookman. Copyright 1968 by Western Publishing Company, Inc
|360||Eastern Red Cedar Tree Bark
Eastern Red Cedar Tree Bark
Reference: Price, Homer Edward. Eastern Red Cedar Bark. 8 Oct. 2008. Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/28340342@N08/2925658528/.
|358||Easern Redcedar Table
Green Egg barbecue table in production, by John Moody Woodworks
Attribution: Craftsman John Moody
|359||Eastern Redcedar Green Egg Table
Eastern Redcedar Green Egg Table
Attribution: John Moody Woodworks
|361||Eastern Red Cedar by Hough
Cross section specimens of Eastern Red Cedar.
Reference: Romeyn B. Hough’s American Woods, Volume I. https://www.lib.ncsu.edu/specialcollections/forestry/hough/WoodsPart_I.html. Accessed 3 Feb. 2019.
|356||Eastern Redcedar Range Map
Natural distribution map for Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana (eastern redcedar) shown in green and Juniperus virginiana var. silicicola (southern redcedar) shown in red.
Attribution: Elbert L. Little, Jr., of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons