Go Green This Christmas

Eddie Powell
Horticulture Agent
Walton County
732 north 9th street
Defuniak Springs, Fl   32433
pep5@ufl.edu
850-892-8172
850-892-8443

Eastern Redcedar is a compact, pyramidal tree making it an excellent choice for a Christmas tree. But remember that this tree is not a true cedar but a member of the juniper family.

The leaves are dark shiny green and usually arranged in opposing pairs. The trees form berry-like fruit that become greenish-white to greenish-blue as they mature. Each little berry contains one to four seeds. The birds and animal feed on them and spread the seed around.

Prior to the availability of plantation grown Christmas trees, wild Eastern Redcedars were the tree of choice for many because of their natural conical shape and ready supply.

They can be started by seed. Grafting and air layering are recommended propagation techniques to have a plant that comes "true".

The Eastern Redcedar is known to aid in erosion control because of its fibrous root system. It also serves as a type of moth repellant that has been used for many years in closets. Eastern Redcedar also makes a good choice in the yard because of its wildlife benefits. Bird will nest in the foliage because it provides such a great cover.

So this year when you’re headed out to get a fresh Christmas tree, why not get one you can enjoy for more than one month. Get one from a local nursery that is already in a pot, just keep it watered and plant it outside in January, February, or when Christmas is over.