The branches of the eastern redcedar are compact and form a pyramidal crown, except in older trees. The leaves are usually arranged in opposing pairs along the branchlets. They are a dark shiny green color. The bark is reddish brown with a tendency to peel in long fibrous strips.
This tree is not a true cedar but a member of the juniper, as the botanical name implies.
There are numerous cultivars of eastern redcedar. Many are characterized by color differences that vary from dark green to bluish green, to silvery, to gray-green, to bronze, and even to purple.
Prior to the availability of plantation grown Christmas trees, wild eastern redcedars were the tree of choice for many in the south. They were chosen for their natural conical shape, aroma, and ready supply.