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collage of Eastern Redcedar and Northern White-Cedar

Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) vs. Northern White-Cedar (Thuja occidentalis)

Updated September 1st, 2020

These two species are often confused by people inexperienced in identifying plants of the Cupressoideae subfamily. They are easily distinguished by fruit, bark, and characteristics of the needles or scales. Where their ranges overlap, both tend to be found on calcium-rich substrates, but redcedar occupies drier, sunnier, nutrient-poor, and more early-succession habitats, whereas white-cedar is found on richer, wetter, shadier sites.

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