Grazing North Texas – Eastern Red Cedar

Eastern red cedar takes on a “Christmas tree” shape, and has been used as a Christmas tree in homes over the years. (Photo by Tony Dean)

By Tony Dean 

This tree is normally called Eastern red cedar although it is in the Cypress family. It is a native evergreen that matures at 20 to 30 feet tall but can grow to 50 feet.

Eastern red cedar has a central trunk with spreading branches and usually takes on the pyramidal shape of a Christmas tree.

The fruit is a pale blue berry that has two seeds. Another evergreen, Ash juniper, also produces pale blue berries, but does not normally have a pyramidal shape like Eastern red cedar. Eastern red cedar provides poor grazing for cattle and poor to fair browse for deer. Deer, sheep, and goats will graze the plant during winter months.

To read more pick up a copy of the January 2018 NTFR issue. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.

Eastern red cedar berries. (Photo by Tony Dean)