What’s Green Now? Eastern Redcedar

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Juniperus virginiana; Cupressaceae

This is a tree that doesn’t get much respect – as a matter of fact, many people dislike it because its role in cedar-apple rust threatens apple trees.

In landscape gardens, I find eastern redcedar unremarkable, though preferable to the ubiquitous arborvitae.  In other situations, though, they are gorgeous.  I see them lining the road or long driveways or fencelines on old properties, very old and presumably left to grow wild, instead of being pruned and managed. Take a drive along River Road (MD 190) from Seneca through Potomac and watch for them, especially for the craggy, shaggy bark on the lower trunks.

Eastern redcedar is highly adaptable, growing in poor soils and rich, on rocky outcrops (as shown above) and abandoned farmlands.  The US Forest Service has a great article about it here.

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