Name That Tree

The correct answer is b. Eastern Red Cedar(Juniperus virginiana). Notice the common name indicates it is a cedar, but it is, in fact, a juniper.

Red Cedar Bark

Eastern Red Cedar stringy bark

One sure indicator that the tree is Eastern Red Cedar is its stringy bark. Eastern Red Cedar is not a particular favorite of gardeners, who often consider it either unsightly or weedy. But it is a good choice for screening. It is not a bad street tree either. It is tough, relatively fast growing, easy to transplant, very heat tolerant, and hardy in zones 2-9. It requires little pruning. It is also long-lived. Some specimens are estimated to be over 400 years old. It thrives in dry soil.

‘Globosa,’ ‘Grey Owl,’ and ‘Silver Spreader’ are low-growing cultivars that have been developed for landscaping. ‘Globosa’ is a dwarf with a spreading growth habit suitable for rock gardens. ‘Grey Owl’ grows to only 3 feet high and is used in borders. ‘Silver Spreader’ is used as a ground cover.

The twigs of Eastern Red Cedar are square in cross section. The tree is unusual in that it has two types of leaves: the stubby scales shown in the photo above and awl-shaped needles that appear on new growth. This can complicate the identification of the tree.