Eastern Red Cedar

Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) grows throughout the eastern half of the United States except in Maine, Florida, and a narrow strip along the Gulf Coast and at the higher elevations in the Appalachian Mountain Range.  Commercial production is principally in the southern Appalachian and Cumberland Mountain regions.  Another species, southern red cedar (J. silicicola), grows over a limited area in the South Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains.  The heartwood of red cedar is bright or dull red, and the narrow sapwood is nearly white.  The wood is moderately heavy, moderately low in strength, hard, and high in shock resistance, but low in stiffness.  It has very low shrinkage and is dimensionally stable after drying.  The texture is fine and uniform and the wood commonly has numerous small knots.  Eastern red cedar heartwood is very resistant to decay.  The greatest quantity of eastern red cedar is used for fence posts.  Lumber is manufactured into chests, wardrobes, and closet lining.  Other uses include flooring, novelties, pencils, scientific instruments and small boats.  Southern red cedar is used for the same purposes.  Eastern red cedar is reputed to repel moths but this claim has not been supported by research.

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