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Eastern Red Cedar

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Wood identification

Wood identification

Sometimes called red juniper and aromatic red cedar, eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) grows from north to south in most of the eastern U.S. and even west into North Dakota and Texas. For soil, it likes every variety except wet, spongy swampland Eastern red cedar averages about 16" in diameter and 20' to 50' tall. Rather than the needles typical of evergreens, this tree has lacelike fronds that brown with age. Its bark appears reddish-brown and shredded, and easily strips from the trunk. By autumn, eastern red cedar trees develop pale, blue-green berries, much appreciated by birds. The wood of eastern red cedar is light, weighing about 33 lbs. per cubic foot air-dried, and, surprisingly, is 80 percent as strong as white oak. The thin, white sapwood has a pale pink hue, while the heart- wood darkens to pinkish red. The oil in the wood causes its pleasant, unmistakable aroma-especially around the knots.

Continued on page 3:  Working properties


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