Red Cedar Tree Facts


Red cedars, commonly known as Eastern red cedars, are a variety of tree popular not only in nature but also among gardeners and homeowners. Valued for their elongated, thick and full look, red cedar trees are also a source of food for many birds. They grow in many areas due to their ability to adapt to climates and soils--ranging from dry climates that have sandy soil to moist climates with clay soil. There are many facts about red cedar trees of interest to tree lovers and those who might be interested in growing a red cedar.


  • Red cedars tend to grow in a pyramid-shaped form, often reaching heights of up to 50 feet. Their diameter is narrow for a tree of their height and ranges up to 15 feet. The tree is very full, as the leaves and branches grow very thick and close together.


  • Female trees produce a blue berry that is often grouped in clusters. These berries are popular for birds to eat and tend to grow in the summertime. Sometimes these berries can be difficult to locate on the trees, as birds tend to eat them relatively quickly.


  • Although the name of the red cedar tree features the word cedar, it is actually a type of juniper tree and not a variety of cedar tree. Juniper trees are found all over the world--ranging from North and South America to Africa and Asia. There are an estimated 60 species of junipers that include smaller shrubs all the way to large trees above 50 feet in height.


  • It is recommended to fertilize red cedars from spring to autumn, normally every 20 to 30 days; however, fertilizer is not recommended during the hottest parts of summer--usually July to August.


  • Many gardeners focus on pruning to help trees grow in the manner they prefer and to keep the tree healthier. One method is to develop thicker foliage, which can be done by pinching the tender new shoots using your fingers. To perform this, you simply need to locate the new shoots and pinch them off. Pinching is generally continued throughout spring to winter. It is also recommended to prune or trim branches that are unwanted or which grow awkwardly from parent branches. Pruning is best done during the winter to early spring months.

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