Juniperus virginiana

Common Names

Incense Cedar, Eastern Red Cedar, Southern Red Juniper, Pencil Cedar, Pencil Juniper, Savin.


The eastern red cedar tree has a fibrous root system that is useful for erosion control. It is a pioneer species on strip mining sites. Prior to the availability of plantation grown Christmas trees, wild eastern red cedars were the tree of choice for many in the south. They were chosen for their natural conical shape and ready supply.

Did You Know?

Eastern Red Cedar provides cedarwood oil or cedrol, a natural product used in compounding various fragrances and medicines.

Eastern red cedar is important to wildlife, too. It provides birds with cover for nesting and roosting. Its foliage, although low in nutritional value, provides an emergency food supply for wildlife in stress. And its fruit is eaten by many species as a source of fat, fiber, calcium and carbohydrates.


A softwood, Eastern Red Cedar is native to the eastern half of the United States, from Maine west to New York, Quebec, Ontario, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota south to Nebraska and Texas east through Florida and Georgia.

Main Uses

Used previously for pencils but primarily used today for fenceposts. Other uses include chests, closet lining, novelties, buckets, shingles, boat building, and other exterior applications.

General Description

Eastern Red Cedar has a thin, white sapwood that  may alternate with stripes of heartwood. Straight and even grained with a fine uniform texture. Creamy white sapwood and light reddish or purplish heartwood that ages to a darker red or reddish brown. Often contains numerous knots.


Eastern Red Cedar trees are hardy but grow relatively slowly yielding smaller diameter trees at harvest. Narrow width, knotty boards with in-line bark is common. Furniture grade Eastern Red Cedar is typically available in 8' lengths with limited availability in longer lengths.



Ash • Beech • Brazilian Cherry • Brazilian Walnut • Aromatic Cedar • Cherry • Coffeenut • Cypress • Hickory • Hard Maple • Poplar • Red Elm • Red Oak • Sassafras • Soft Maple • Walnut • White Oak • White Pine • Yellow Pine • Heart Pine

click the above images to view

Wood is a natural product. Some variation in color and grain pattern will occur between samples, images on this website, photographs and any specific installation.

Main Uses

Fence posts, chests, wardrobes, closet linings, pencils, carvings, pet bedding, furniture, flooring, scientific instruments, small boats and household items. Cedar poles are highly resistant to decay and are widely used for fence posts because of their longevity in soil. Red cedar wood is reputed to have natural moth repelling qualities and has been long used in cedar chests, wardrobes and closets.

Working Properties

Eastern Red Cedar is easy to work with both hand and machine tools and has a straight grain. It has tight knots, which can add to the beauty of the wood. It splits easily, holds nails well and has excellent gluing properties. The wood is moderately low in strength and stiffness, but  high in shock resistance. It shrinks little during drying and is dimensional stable.

Physical Properties

Moderately heavy, hard, and strong with low stiffness and good stability in service. The heartwood is highly resistant to decay and attack by insects, including termites. The scent of the wood is said to be a natural insect repellent.

580 Janka Hardness Rating

Aromatic Cedar

Product Weights


Green Rough Sawn

3.37 bf

KD Rough Sawn

2.88 bf

KD 15/16" HoM Planed

2.70 bf

KD 3/4" S4S & Flooring

2.34 sf

Listed weights are considered estimated averages only and do not include the additional weight of bolsters, packaging or crating.


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