January 2016 Tree of the Month – Eastern Red Cedar

Eastern_Red_Cedarby Ann Farnham, LLA

The Ewing Township Environmental Commission recognizes a stately eastern redcedar tree (Juniperus virginiana) in Village on the Green Park as the Ewing Township Tree of the Month for December 2011.  Village on the Green Park is along Sabrina Drive.

Eastern redcedar is an evergreen tree of many uses. The wonderfully aromatic wood repels moths and is used for chests and to line closets.   Native Americans made flutes from the wood.  Colonists made log cabins out of the wood.

A small redcedar trees makes an excellent chimney brush. In Virginia, my wife and I would tie ropes to both ends of a redcedar tree and then pull it up and down the chimney with me on the roof and her by the fireplace.

Eastern redcedars are used as Christmas trees, most often in the South.

The fruit of eastern redcedar are small pale blue berries with a strong flavor that can be used as a spice and when chewed are reputed to heal canker sores.

Wildlife benefits provided by eastern redcedar include shelter (it is very cozy nestled within the branches of a redcedar) and food. Many birds eat the berries, the seeds of which pass unharmed through their digestive tract.  Thus redcedars use birds as effective dissemination agents.  Redcedars are among the first trees colonizing abandoned farm land.

Check out the Tree of the Month in Village on the Green Park.  This underutilized, open park is ideal for activities such as dog walking, kite flying and Frisbee™.

The purpose of the Ewing Township Tree of the Month is to call attention to Ewing Township trees of note based on their beauty, size or historical significance and thus engender a greater appreciation by residents for the fine trees in our community.

Let the Ewing Township Environmental Commission know about your favorite trees in Ewing Township and perhaps one will be selected for Ewing Township Tree of the Month.

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