Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is the only evergreen tree that is native to Kansas, according to the Great Plains Nature Center. The tree, which produces green needles and distinctive blue berries is notable because it provides cover for birds in winter. Eastern red cedar is a heat and drought tolerant tree specimen that transplants easily into landscapes and survives in cities where pollution and soil compaction will weaken other trees. It may reach up to 50 feet high and forms a rough pyramid or column shape.
Examine the trunk of the tree for signs of scarring that may have been caused by lawn mowers, weed eaters or a spade or shovel during transplant.
Peel back the burlap covering over the tree's root ball or lift it from its container and examine the roots. If a root ball is disproportionally smaller than the eastern red cedar's canopy, this is a sign that the tree's root ball can't support the tree. Examine the roots for signs that they are diseased, dry or unhealthy. Roots that are brown and brittle are signs of heat stress.
Pull aside cedar branches to explore the tree's canopy. Look for broken branches, which are a sign of rough handling. Rough handling may stress the tree and cause it to decline in health.
Touch the tip of young cedar twigs to determine if the twigs are brown and dead. Brown, dead twigs may be a sign of twig blight, a fungal infection that will slowly kill eastern red cedar. Other pests and diseases to look for include rust disease, which leaves a rusty powder and yellowing foliage, which is a sign of spider mites.