Cedar trees are long-living evergreens that have spiky, needle-like growths instead of traditional leaves. They produce dark blue or black berry-like fruit in the fall, according to the USDA Plant Guide. Although the fruit is typically eaten by wildlife such as birds and squirrels, it can also be harvested by humans. Cedar tree berries were originally used by Native Americans as an herbal remedy for ailments such as nausea and arthritis.
Things You'll Need
Sheets or plastic tarps
Ladder or step ladder
Large bucket or tub
Wait until the early to mid-fall, which is when the fruit of the cedar tree ripens.
Lay a large sheet or plastic tarp under the tree, placing it as close to the trunk as possible. Stretch the sheet out until it extends to the longest horizontal tree branch. You may have to use multiple sheets or tarps depending on the size of the cedar tree.
Place a ladder or step ladder on top of the ground in a location where you can easily reach the lower cedar branches.
Climb up onto the ladder and grasp one of the branches with one hand. Grip the ladder or the trunk of the tree with your other hand so that you do not lose your balance.
Shake the tree limb vigorously to loosen the berries on the cedar branches and cause them to fall onto the sheet or tarp below it.
Continue until you have gathered the desired amount of berries, repositioning the ladder as needed to access other branches.
Move the ladder and gather up the edges of the sheet or tarp to form a tube and prevent the berries from falling out. Place the end of it into a large bucket or tub and tilt it vertically to pour the berries out of it and into the bucket.
If you only want a small amount of the cedar berry fruit, you can pick them by hand.
The center of each fruit berry contains a cedar seed which can be planted.