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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Anderson

The "a-peeling" Eastern Redcedar

Juniperus virginiana is one of the most fragrant of the evergreens -- and it provides

essential cover, nesting and food for various game and song birds, like the Cedar Waxwing, named for their love of the trees' blue, berry-like fruits. Eastern Redcedar is a larval host for the "Olive" Juniper Hairstreak Butterfly. It also has a-peeling bark! It's reddish-brown bark exfoliates, revealing grey patterns beneath. It has dark green, fan-like foliage; both males and females produce flowers, and the females produce the fruits. This tree grows 30-50 feet tall and makes an excellent, and large(!) hedge as well as a beautiful specimen tree. It's adaptable to multiple sites, including hard-to-plant locations, and prefers full sun to part shade. Eastern Redcedar has been used as a Christmas tree, probably because of its color and fragrance, although I would not recommend it for decorating as it's a bit sharp (ouch!). At Tree Talk Natives, we also have Concolor Fir, which are soft and citrus-ey scented and make awesome Christmas trees. They are not native to this area but should grow well here (we're still testing their hardiness). Other good choices include arborvitae and the beautiful White Spruce.

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