Juniperus Virginiana Cultivars & Types (Eastern Red Cedar)

Eastern Red Cedar Varieties

Most popularly known as the Juniperus virginiana, the eastern red cedar is a beloved evergreen tree. It is absolutely undebatable that these beautiful trees can add a fascinating appeal to any landscape. If you are thinking about rejuvenating your home garden, check out the various eastern red cedar varieties.

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Scientific name Juniperus virginiana
Family Cypress (Cupressaceae)
Native area Juniperus virginiana varieties are native to Central and Eastern U.S.A., South-east Canada, Mexico
Height 30 – 40 feet
Soil Clay, Loam (silt), Sand, Shallow rocky
Sun exposure   Full sun to partial shade


Is Eastern Red Cedar The Same As Juniper?

The beloved Eastern red cedar, also known as the Juniperus virginiana is often confused as a true cedar. It is usually because of its close relation to the typical juniper tree in terms of having the same genus.
However, the eastern red cedars are actually a kind of juniper that is largely scattered conifer in the native Eastern U.S.A and Canada. The major difference between the both is that you can hardly ever see a juniper grown as a tree. While a red cedar can grow into a lovely evergreen tree that can reach up to a height of 30 – 40 feet.
You can find several Juniperus virginiana cultivars that are a great option for a windbreak. These are pyramidal trees with a pointed crown, thick and compact foliage and branches hanging close to the ground.
You can find various medium-sized Juniperus virginiana varieties in different regions all over North America. Now, if you are interested to grow ornamental easter cedar, check out the different options listed below.
Related: Cedar Care Guide | Deodar Cedar Varieties

Types of Eastern Cedar Cultivars

In this article, we have mentioned the different eastern red cedar cultivars. It will help you to easily identify these coniferous trees based on their distinctive features in terms of leaves, bark, flowers, and fruits.

A. Blue Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana‘Glauca’)

Blue eastern red cedar, commonly known as the Juniperus virginiana ‘Glauca’, is found in the eastern North American areas. The different blue eastern red cedar varieties can be seen in the form of a big shrub or an evergreen small tree.
These long-lived trees follow a columnar habit. This splendid tree is loved for building a residential hedge.
People are highly attracted to their beautiful medium gray or blue, needled leaves that can spread up to 10 cm when young. Whereas the leaves of an adult Juniperus virginiana ‘Glauca’ can spread up to 4mm.
It has a short trunk with fibrous brown or red bark. Also, it grows berry-like seed cones that are its deep purple fruits.

B. Burk Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana‘Burkii’)

These are wonderful evergreen Juniperus virginiana cultivars that are male. When grown in a sunny area, it grows in a pyramidal form spreading wide between 8 ft to 15 ft and reaching up to a height of 15 ft to 25 ft.
In summer, it flaunts beautiful blue-green foliage. While during winters in the northern areas the dense foliage changes to brownish hue. These eastern red cedar varieties do not bear any fruits so you may not see any birds on them.

C. Globe Eastern Red cedar (Juniperus virginiana‘Globosa’)

Also known as Globosa Juniper, it is an evergreen, long-lived and needle-like shrub. This thick and compact shrub can flourish in various growing conditions and soils. As this shrub matures it has a dense, green-scaled foliage.
These eastern red cedar cultivars are packed with branchlets that change color to bronze brown during the winter. When it comes to this juniper grows two types of leaves, juvenile, and adult leaves. The young leaves are usually sharp and needled for up to three years.
Whereas, as the plant matures after three years, the leaves become scaled, needles tightened and appear in opposite cross-like patterns.

D. Blue Mountain Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana‘Blue Mountain’)

It is another splendid and evergreen tree in the eastern red cedar varieties. True to its name, this powerful and dense tree can be seen in the form of a big shrub or small tree. It can grow about 15 feet tall and spread about 3 – 4 ft.
It grows compact and thick foliage in a fascinating blue-green tint. Unlike most junipers, its foliage is more needled and softer. This female cultivar bears cones that are berry-like and appears blue when fully grown.

E. Taylor Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana ‘Taylor’)

These wonderful eastern red cedar cultivars have a columnar, narrow and tall structure in the cypress family. It grows fascinating emerald and green color foliage. If you are looking for a tree to screen your garden or driveway, then this is a perfect option for you.
As it can grow about 20 to 25 ft tall and spread about 2 to 4 ft wide. This cedar species love to grow in full sun to partially sunny conditions. Also, it can tolerate poor growing conditions except for wet soil.


F. Hillspire Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana ‘Cupressifolia’)

Hillspire eastern red cedar varieties are pyramid-like male cultivars with narrow branches. It has scale-like, yellow-green foliage that easily captures everyone’s attention. When it matures, the tree spread to a width of 4 ft and reaches up to 6 – 8 ft tall.


Apart from being long-lived, the tree can hold against various types of soils and growing situations. It is a great choice when it comes to using different types of red cedar trees for privacy hedges.

G. Canaert Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana’Canaertii’)

You can find this pyramid shaped eastern-red cedar in various areas of mid-west. In summer the tree shows its beautiful green foliage which develops a somewhat brown color in winter.
These vigorous Juniperus virginiana varieties densely spread up to 8-15 ft wide and grow up to 30 ft tall. Not only this tree appears splendid for residential landscape even its blazing blue fruits are pretty ornamental. This is why it’s a great option to fence your farm or hedge your backyard.

H. Grey Owl Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana cultivars’Grey Owl’)

This is one of the best types of red cedar trees among many dense and shrubby eastern red cedar. It has an attractive evergreen silver gray foliage and compact structure. It gives a pretty festive look with berry-like deep purple–blue cones all covered with white wax. Being tolerant to heat, cold, and drought, it’s a slow-growing juniper that can live for a long time. This red cedar variety can work perfectly for screening during fully sunny and dry conditions.

I. Juniperusvirginiana ‘Blue Arrow’ (Blue Arrow Eastern Redcedar)

Also popularly called the Colorado Red Cedar, this is a magnificent tree for providing a privacy hedge and a beautiful appeal to your home. Being one of the narrow and tall Juniperus virginiana varieties, this tree can work well to fence any old field.


It follows columnar habits and showcases upright branches. You can witness its blue foliage all through the year. The conifer and evergreen shrub can grow wide for about 2 feet. While it can reach a height of 12 to 15 feet.


Eastern Red Cedar Tree Identification

The magnificent Juniperus virginiana cultivars are tall and evergreen plants that work well as a privacy hedge. This coniferous tree is packed with dense foliage and spread through most areas of North America.


You can identify it by just taking a glance at its reddish-brown color bark. Even scaled leaf changes color from blue-greenish to bronze in winter. It attracts many birds with its nice-smelling yellow flowers.


It can be found in pyramidal or columnar shapes. It can easily thrive in both dry and moist as well as well-drained soils. Provided it requires full exposure to the sun to grow healthy. There are many types of red cedar trees from which you can pick the best plant to screen your landscape.


Eastern Red Cedar Berries

Eastern red cedar berries take about 3 years to mature and have a flavorful taste. They are not true berries but cones that are hugely popular. The right time to harvest them is late summer or fall. You can keep the berries in a cool, dry, and airtight container with no sunlight.


Eastern Red Cedar Uses

The different kinds of eastern red cedar varieties are used well as wonderful Christmas trees. The wood of this tree is highly valuable due to its amazing qualities like finely grained, and resistance to rotting features.


That is why its wood is used to make closets, trunks, and fence posts. A few other uses include creating cedar chests, pails, and lead pencils. Because of its strong quality and thick foliage, the tree is highly used as a privacy hedge.


Related: Types of Cedar Trees | Cedar Growth Rate

Frequently Aasked Questions

Q. Do eastern red cedars grow fast?

A. The rate of growth is usually moderate to fast. This may however change based on the eastern red cedar cultivars you choose for landscaping. In the first 30 years of their growth, these trees can grow up to 12 – 24 inches tall.

Q. How long does eastern red cedar last?

A. When grown in a natural and desirable habitat, this plant can live for a long time about 100 – 300 years.

Q. Is Juniperus virginiana poisonous?

A. The berry-like cones of some eastern red cedar varieties can be slightly toxic. So, when ingested in huge quantities it can lead to problems like diarrhea.

Q. What is the difference between eastern red cedar and Western red cedar?

A. Speaking of genetics the eastern and western red cedar are closely related. However, there are many differences between the two of them. The main difference is that the eastern red cedar is short and quite rare species of cedar in contrast to western red cedar.
Also, the eastern red cedar wood is highly decay resistant and aromatic than western red cedar.