Aromatic Eastern Redcedar provides many uses to both people and animal habitat and is a natural friend to the environment. Outside of the many uses to people, the Eastern Redcedar tree provides shade and cover for wildlife on a year round basis. The berries produced by the Redcedar tree are consumed by birds and other animals, which help to propagate Eastern Redcedar trees. When Eastern Redcedar is seen growing along fence rows, the seeding for those trees likely came from birds eating the berries from the Eastern Redcedar trees.
Aromatic Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) is a member of the cypress family and is prevalent in the eastern and central U.S. (www.conifers.org/cu/ju/virginiana1) Four states account for 53% of the Eastern Redcedar tree inventory; Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri (U.S. Forest Service, Forest Industry Analysis). Eastern Redcedar thrives on limestone based soils and has continued to proliferate over the eastern and central U.S. Eastern Redcedar is not endangered or in short supply. See map of Eastern Redcedar Tree Distribution. In fact, the supply of Eastern Redcedar is expected to grow in available volume for at least the next three decades. (www.centerforagroforestry.org/research/current.asp)
Eastern Redcedar is one of 13 Juniper species native to the U.S. It is a small evergreen tree, commonly 10 to 35 feet in height, with a pyramid to round shape ( www.conifers.org/cu/ju/virginiana5). The wood is fragrant, usually reddish or reddish-brown, easily worked, very durable, and not injured by insects. Its resistance to decay makes it particularly useful for fence posts and other ground-contact applications. However, it seldom achieves the size or straight grain needed in lumber. Many native peoples have used the aromatic foliage and resins for medicinal or spiritual purposes. "An essential oil is obtained by distillation from wood and leaves. That from the wood is often used for perfumery, sometimes in medicine. Oil from the leaves and shoots is also used in medicine" (Dallimore, William, Albert Bruce Jackson, and S.G. Harrison. 1967. A handbook of Coniferae and Ginkgoaceae).
The primary use of Aromatic Eastern Redcedar is for lining closets and other enclosed areas to provide protection for clothes, linens and other personal items from damage or infestation from insects such as moths, silverfish, cockroaches, etc. (see Scientific Studies link). This prevention is offered as nature intended; in a chemical free, non-toxic, manner. The natural oils found in Aromatic Eastern Redcedar produce the aroma that repels pests, but is pleasing to people. The use of Aromatic Eastern Redcedar has been used to protect clothing and other valuable items for hundreds of years. Aromatic Eastern Redcedar provides the opportunity to turn away from harmful, toxic pesticides and turn toward a natural alternative that is both safe and effective. Eastern Redcedar is the new Green alternative.