Eastern Red Cedar is a popular evergreen tree that is prized for its hardy nature, attractive foliage, and numerous practical uses. Whether you’re looking to create a windbreak, provide wildlife habitat, or add visual interest to your landscape, Eastern Red Cedars are a great choice.
While they can take several years to reach their full height, they are relatively low-maintenance and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and soil conditions.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to grow Eastern Red Cedars from cuttings, including soil preparation, spacing, care, and more.
Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, this guide will help you successfully grow and care for your Eastern Red Cedars.
How to Grow Eastern Red Cedar Step By Step Guide
Growing eastern red cedar plant is a task that can be done by almost anyone. However, it is best to learn the process which is why we have compiled the step by step guide on how to grow eastern red cedar below.
Step 1. Select An Appropriate Location For Eastern Red Cedar
When selecting a location to plant your Eastern Red Cedar, consider the tree’s natural habitat. Eastern Red Cedars prefer well-drained soils that are slightly acidic, and they thrive in full sunlight.
Choose a location that receives plenty of direct sunlight, has well-draining soil, and is protected from harsh winds.
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Step 2. Soil Preparation For Eastern Red Cedar Planting
Before planting Eastern Red Cedars, it is essential to prepare the soil. Start by removing any weeds or debris from the planting area.
Then, work organic matter, such as compost, into the soil to improve its structure and fertility.
Make sure the soil is well-draining, as Eastern Red Cedars don’t like to sit in water.
Step 3. Obtain And Prepare Eastern Red Cedar Seedlings
Eastern Red Cedar seedlings can be obtained from local nurseries or garden centers. Before planting, soak the seedlings in water for an hour to help them acclimate to their new environment. Then, gently remove the seedlings from their containers and loosen the roots to encourage growth.
Step 4. Plant Eastern Red Cedar In The Chosen Location
Dig a hole that is slightly larger than the Eastern Red Cedar seedling’s root ball. Place the seedling in the hole and backfill with soil, gently tamping it down to remove any air pockets. Water the newly planted seedling thoroughly.
Step 5. Watering Eastern Red Cedar Plants
Eastern Red Cedars require regular watering, especially during the first few years of growth. Water the tree deeply once a week, ensuring that the soil remains moist but not waterlogged. When experiencing drought, water more frequently.
Step 6. Applying Fertilizers To Eastern Red Cedar
Fertilizers are a source of essential nutrients that aid in the growth and development of plants.
The type and amount of fertilizer required by Eastern Red Cedar plants may vary depending on various factors such as soil type, climate, and the age of the plant.
It is important to follow the recommended guidelines and instructions for applying fertilizers to avoid over-fertilizing, which can be harmful to the plants.
Proper application of fertilizers can help maintain the health and vitality of Eastern Red Cedar plants.
Step 7. Pruning Eastern Red Cedar Plants
Pruning is essential to maintaining the health and shape of Eastern Red Cedars. To begin, eliminate any branches that are dead or sick, followed by cutting back branches that are touching or rubbing each other.
It is best to perform the pruning during the end of winter or beginning of spring, before new growth emerges.
Step 8. Monitoring For Eastern Red Cedar Pests And Diseases
Regular monitoring is crucial for the optimal health and growth of your Eastern Red Cedars. Although they are generally robust, these trees can still fall prey to pests and diseases that can impact their vitality.
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Common pests that can affect Eastern Red Cedars include bagworms and spider mites. Bagworms are moth larvae that feed on the needles and foliage of the tree, while spider mites feed on the sap, causing yellowing and discoloration. If you spot signs of infestation, such as bags or yellowing needles, take action immediately.
To control bagworms, handpicking is the most effective method. It might be necessary to use a pesticide if the infestation is serious. For spider mites, insecticidal soaps or oils can be effective, but avoid using them during hot, dry weather as they can further damage the tree.
Diseases that can impact Eastern Red Cedars include cedar-apple rust, caused by a fungal infection. Symptoms include yellow or orange spots on the needles and small brown bumps that are fruiting bodies.
If you spot these signs, remove any infected juniper or apple trees nearby, as they are alternate hosts for the fungus. Fungicides can also be effective, but follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
Step 9. Harvesting Eastern Red Cedar
Eastern Red Cedars are typically grown for their ornamental value, but they can also be used for their wood, which is highly valued for its durability and resistance to rot. Harvesting should be done carefully to avoid damaging the tree, and only mature trees should be harvested.
Best Practices To Grow Eastern Red Cedar
Growing Eastern Red Cedar requires careful attention to detail and adherence to best practices. Below are a few pointers that can assist in ensuring success.
- Choose the right location for planting
- Prepare the soil adequately
- Make sure to water consistently, particularly in the initial years.
- Fertilize sparingly and only with slow-release fertilizers
- Cut back the branches during the end of winter or the beginning of spring.
- Monitor for pests and diseases
- Use proper harvesting techniques
Benefits Of Growing Eastern Red Cedar
Growing Eastern Red Cedar offers several benefits, including:
- Providing a beautiful evergreen tree for landscaping
- Offering natural windbreaks and privacy screens
- Attracting wildlife such as birds and deer
- Producing high-quality wood for construction and furniture making
- Absorbing pollutants and improving air quality
- Offering medicinal benefits from the tree’s essential oils
- Serving as a long-lasting and sustainable crop for farmers
Projected Profit Of Growing Eastern Red Cedar
Growing Eastern Red Cedar can be profitable, with the potential for high returns in the long run. Factors that impact profitability include land cost, seedling prices, and harvest volume.
Depending on these variables, Eastern Red Cedar farmers can expect to earn anywhere from $500 to $5,000 per acre.
Challenges Of Growing Eastern Red Cedar
While Eastern Red Cedar can be a profitable crop, there are some challenges associated with growing it, including:
- Slow growth in the early years
- Vulnerability to deer browsing and other pests
- Potential for wind damage
- Susceptibility to root rot in poorly drained soils
- Limited market demand in some areas
- Difficulty in finding reliable seed sources
- Long wait time for returns on investment
Suitable Varieties Of Eastern Red Cedar To Grow
There are several varieties of Eastern Red Cedar that are suitable for growing, including:
- Juniperus virginiana ‘Burkii’
- Juniperus virginiana ‘Grey Owl’
- Juniperus virginiana ‘Taylor’
- Juniperus virginiana ‘Canaertii’
- Juniperus virginiana ‘Hillspire’
- Juniperus virginiana ‘Emerald Sentinel’
- Juniperus virginiana ‘Glauca’
Different Propagation Method Of Eastern Red Cedar
Eastern Red Cedar can be propagated through several methods, including:
- Seed propagation
- Stem cuttings
- Tissue culture
- Air layering
Where To Sell Eastern Red Cedar
Eastern Red Cedar can be sold to a variety of markets, including:
- Furniture manufacturers
- Lumber yards
- Landscaping companies
- Homeowners for landscaping use
- Christmas tree farms
- Floral arrangement suppliers
- Essential oil producers
How Much Does Eastern Red Cedar Cost
The cost of Eastern Red Cedar varies depending on factors such as size, quality, and location.
Prices for seedlings range from $5 to $20 each, while mature trees can fetch anywhere from $200 to $500 each.
The cost of lumber and other products made from Eastern Red Cedar also varies widely.
Common Diseases And Pests Of Eastern Red Cedar
Eastern Red Cedar can be vulnerable to several diseases and pests, including:
- Cedar apple rust
- Cedar leaf miner
- Spider mites
- Cedar rust
- Scale insects
- Canker diseases
Proper monitoring and timely treatment can help prevent these issues from causing significant damage to the tree.
Different Propagation Method Of Eastern Red Cedar
Eastern Red Cedar can be propagated through various methods, including:
#1. Seed propagation
This is the most common method of propagating Eastern Red Cedar. Collect mature cones in the fall, dry them, and remove the seeds. Sow the seeds in a well-drained medium and cover lightly. Keep the soil moist and wait for germination.
#2. Stem cuttings
Softwood cuttings can be taken from the current season’s growth in the early summer. Dip the cuttings in rooting hormone and plant them in a rooting medium. Cover with plastic to maintain high humidity and keep the soil moist. Once rooted, transplant the cuttings to individual pots.
This method involves bending a low branch of an Eastern Red Cedar tree to the ground and covering a section of the branch with soil. The branch will begin to develop roots, and once they are well-established, the new plant can be severed from the parent tree.
This method involves attaching a scion from a desired variety of Eastern Red Cedar onto the rootstock of a hardier variety. Grafting is often used to improve the disease resistance of the tree.
Mature Eastern Red Cedar trees can be divided into several smaller plants. Dig up the root ball, separate it into sections, and replant the sections in individual pots or directly into the ground.
#6. Tissue culture
This is a laboratory-based method of propagation that involves growing new plants from tiny plant tissue samples. Tissue culture is an efficient way of producing a large number of plants in a small space.
#7. Air layering
This method involves making a small cut in the bark of a branch and wrapping the cut with moist sphagnum moss and plastic. The branch will begin to develop roots, and once they are well-established, the new plant can be severed from the parent tree.
Eastern Red Cedar Uses
Eastern Red Cedars have a variety of uses, including ornamental, medicinal, and commercial purposes. Some of the uses of Eastern Red Cedars include:
- Landscaping: Eastern Red Cedars are commonly used in landscaping for their evergreen foliage and attractive shape.
- Essential oils: The tree’s wood and needles are used to produce essential oils, which have a variety of health benefits.
- Cedarwood oil: The wood of Eastern Red Cedars is highly valued for its durability and resistance to rot. It is often used for fence posts, furniture, and decking.
- Wildlife habitat: Eastern Red Cedars provide important habitat for wildlife, including birds and small mammals.
- Windbreaks: Eastern Red Cedars are often used as windbreaks in agricultural settings to protect crops and livestock.
- Traditional medicine: The bark and leaves of Eastern Red Cedars have been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments.
- Christmas trees: Eastern Red Cedars are sometimes used as Christmas trees due to their attractive shape and evergreen foliage.
Eastern Red Cedar Companion Plants
Companion planting involves growing two or more plants together to create a mutually beneficial relationship. Some of the best companion plants for Eastern Red Cedars include:
- Wildflowers: Wildflowers attract pollinators and other beneficial insects to the area around Eastern Red Cedars.
- Grasses: Grasses provide important ground cover and help prevent soil erosion.
- Native shrubs: Native shrubs can provide additional habitat for wildlife and help create a diverse ecosystem.
- Coneflowers: Coneflowers are attractive to pollinators and can help improve soil quality.
- Black-eyed Susans: Black-eyed Susans are another pollinator-friendly plant that can help support a healthy ecosystem.
- Milkweed: Milkweed is a critical host plant for monarch butterflies and can help support a healthy butterfly population.
- Blueberries: Blueberries are an excellent companion plant for Eastern Red Cedars, as they have similar soil requirements and can provide an additional food source for wildlife.
Eastern Red Cedar Spacing
When planting Eastern Red Cedars, it is important to give them enough space to grow and thrive. The recommended spacing for Eastern Red Cedars is:
- For hedgerows and windbreaks: 8-12 feet apart
- For privacy screens: 4-6 feet apart
- For individual trees: 10-20 feet apart
Spacing Eastern Red Cedars properly is essential for ensuring that they have enough room to grow and that they do not become overcrowded, which can lead to disease and other issues.
Instructions on Propagating Eastern Red Cedar through Cuttings
Eastern Red Cedars can be propagated from cuttings, which is a cost-effective way to produce new trees. Here are the steps to grow Eastern Red Cedar from cuttings:
- Select healthy branches from an established Eastern Red Cedar tree.
- Cut the branch into 6-8 inch sections.
- Take off the bottom leaves of the cutting and immerse the trimmed end in a rooting hormone.
- Plant the cutting in a pot filled with a mixture of sand and perlite.
- Keep the pot in a warm, bright location and keep the soil moist.
- After 6-8 weeks, the cutting should have developed roots and can be transplanted into a larger container or planted outdoors.
What Is The Duration For Eastern Red Cedar To Reach Maturity
Eastern Red Cedars are slow-growing trees and can take several years to reach their full height. The average growth rate for Eastern Red Cedars is around 12 inches per year, but this can vary depending on the tree’s growing conditions.
Eastern Red Cedar Growth Rate
Eastern Red Cedars are slow-growing trees, with an average growth rate of around 12 inches per year. However, their growth rate can vary depending on several factors, such as:
- Soil quality: Eastern Red Cedars prefer well-drained soils with a pH of 6.5-7.5. Poor soil quality can slow their growth rate.
- Water availability: Eastern Red Cedars require regular watering during their first few years to establish deep roots and promote growth.
- Sunlight exposure: Eastern Red Cedars prefer full sun exposure, which can promote faster growth rates.
- Climate: Eastern Red Cedars are native to the eastern United States and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. However, extreme weather events such as drought or freezing temperatures can slow their growth rate.
Is Eastern Red Cedar Fast Growing
No, Eastern Red Cedars are not fast-growing trees. They have a slow growth rate of around 12 inches per year and can take several years to reach their full height.
How To Care For Eastern Red Cedar
Proper care is essential for ensuring the health and longevity of Eastern Red Cedars. Here are some tips for caring for Eastern Red Cedars:
- Watering: Eastern Red Cedars require regular watering during their first few years to establish deep roots. After that, they can tolerate dry periods, but they still require occasional watering during drought conditions.
- Fertilization: Eastern Red Cedars do not require much fertilizer, but a slow-release fertilizer can be applied in the spring to promote healthy growth.
- Pruning: Eastern Red Cedars require minimal pruning, but dead or damaged branches should be removed promptly to prevent the spread of disease.
- Pests and diseases: Eastern Red Cedars are relatively pest and disease-resistant, but they can be susceptible to bagworms, cedar-apple rust, and other issues. Regular inspection can help prevent and treat any problems.
- Mulching: A layer of mulch around the base of Eastern Red Cedars can help retain moisture, regulate soil temperature, and prevent weed growth.
- Sun exposure: Eastern Red Cedars prefer full sun exposure, which can promote healthy growth and a strong, attractive shape.
- Soil quality: Eastern Red Cedars prefer well-drained soils with a pH of 6.5-7.5. Amending soil with compost or other organic matter can improve soil quality and promote healthy growth.
Where Does Eastern Red Cedar Grow
Eastern Red Cedars are native to the eastern United States and can be found throughout the region.
They are commonly found in open fields, pastures, and along fence lines, and they can also be grown in urban and suburban landscapes. Eastern
Red Cedars prefer well-drained soils and full sun exposure, and they can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions.
Growing Eastern Red Cedars from cuttings is a rewarding process that can provide beautiful and fragrant trees for your landscape. With proper care and attention to soil quality, water, sunlight, and pests and diseases, you can ensure healthy growth and longevity for your trees. While Eastern Red Cedars have a slow growth rate, their beauty and versatility make them a valuable addition to any landscape.