An evergreen shrub, the Juniperus virginiana is commonly called the eastern red cedar. Relatively slow growing, it will eventually reach a height of 50 feet, with a 15-foot spread in its native habitat. The tree forms a column shape. In the spring, abundant berry-type cones are formed that turn a brilliant shade of blue. Numerous cultivars offer a more compact hedge size and attain a height of 3 feet, with a 6-foot spread. Highly disease- and pest-resistant, the Juniperus virginiana also offers a sturdy form that is wind-resistant and excellent as a hedge or windbreak.
Plant in full sunlight to partial shade. The tree enjoys growing in light loams and rocky soils. It will grow in a soil pH that ranges from 4.5 to 8.5.
Dig holes that are spaced 6 feet apart when planting the Juniperus virginiana as a hedge. This gives the tree ample room to spread out in width as it grows to create the ideal natural-appearing hedge. Mix aged manure into the soil until the soil feels crumbly to the touch.
Place each tree into its hole at the same soil level that it was planted at in the nursery or within its container. Begin filling in the hole around the tree. Tamp the soil down to remove any air pockets.
Water the tree thoroughly upon planting. Once established, the Juniperus virginiana is highly drought-resistant and requires watering only every couple of weeks during dry spells.
Fertilize the tree using a general-purpose fertilizer such as 10-10-10. Apply the fertilizer twice per year, once in the spring and once in the summer. Follow the directions on the label for application instructions.