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H: Eastern Redcedar

Juniperus virginiana

A common conifer native to the eastern United States. It can tolerate a range of conditions but especially thrives in disturbed areas, such as clear-cuts and abandoned farm fields. Oil within its wood acts as a natural insecticide, and is often used to line chests or closets to prevent moth damage to wool clothing. The dense branches of this tree provide cover for many mammal and bird species, including waxwings, quail, pheasant, rabbit, fox, and opossum.


Redcedar is one of the most common trees at Leopold’s Preserve, particularly in the northwest area. This area was once farmland, and Redcedar is one of the first species to repopulate abandoned fields.


You can recognize Eastern Redcedar by its evergreen, scale- or needle-like leaves. Its bark can be brown or gray, and often peels away from the tree in long, thin strips. Redcedar is a member of the juniper family, and has small, berry-like cones and bluish fruit.

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