Juniper virginiana 'Canaertii' Native Red Cedar


This species has been long out of favor for a couple of reasons. It is common, and it hosts a form of cedar apple rust, which is devastating to the ornamental crabapple (which has sharply declined in popularity). This is a great, beautiful, native tree.

Adapted from Missouri Botanical Garden:

‘Canaertii’ is a compact pyramidal cultivar with ascending branching that grows to 20’ tall over the first 15 years. Plants may eventually grow to as much as 40-50’ tall. Shape opens up and becomes more irregular as plants age. Dark green foliage is mostly scale-like (adult) with awl-like (juvenile) needles on young branches. Foliage generally retains good green color in winter. ‘Canaertii’ is a female clone that produces round, blue, berry-like cones (1/4” diameter) with whitish bloom. Cones are often profuse and are considered to be highly ornamental. Cultivar name honors Frederic Canaert (1804-1888), Belgian horticulturist.

Zone: 2 to 9
H: 25-35'
W: 8-10'
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low

Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Black Walnut, Air Pollution

Adapted from Missouri Botanical Garden -

Easily grown in average, dry to moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soils and growing conditions, from swamps to dry rocky glades. Prefers moist soils but is intolerant of constantly wet soils. It has the best drought resistance of any conifer native to the eastern U.S.

Juniperus virginiana, commonly called Eastern red cedar, is native to Kentucky where it typically occurs on limestone bluffs and glades, wood margins, fields, pastures and fence rows throughout the state. It is a broadly conical, sometimes columnar, dense, evergreen conifer with horizontal branching that typically grows to 30-65’ tall. Gray to reddish-brown bark exfoliates in thin 'shreddy' strips on mature trees. Trunks are often fluted at the base. Heartwood is light brown and aromatic, and is commonly used for cedar chests. Dark blue green scale-like foliage. Foliage may turn brown-green in winter. Cultivars of this species often retain better foliage color in winter. This is a dioecious species (separate male and female trees). Female trees produce round, gray to blackish-green berry-like cones (1/4” diameter) that ripen in fall the first year. Berry-like cones are attractive to many birds.

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