Two types of cedars grow in the province of Ontario: the Eastern white cedar and the Eastern red cedar. Both of these trees are natives of the area. While Eastern white cedar is truly a cedar tree, Eastern red cedar is actually a member of the juniper family and not a cedar at all. Both of these trees thrive in Ontario, making them great choices for gardens and landscapes across the province.
Eastern White Cedar
Eastern white cedar, also referred to as Arborvitae and Northern white cedar, is typically found in rocky and wet areas. These cedars live to be hundreds of years old (some live for over 1,000 years). This small tree grows up to 40 feet in height, with arching branches forming a conical shape.
Eastern Red Cedar
Also referred to as red juniper and eastern juniper, this tree typically grows up to 40 feet in height, but can grow as high as 90 feet. The fragrant, scale-like foliage tends to be rather coarse. Tiny blue fruits appear on the female trees. The tree’s resistance to drought, heat and cold make it a popular tree wherever it is grown.
Eastern red cedar is primarily known for its use in fence lines, shingles, furniture and cedar chests. However, the tree’s twigs are also used for tea. These trees were also used to build boats, especially when the province was first colonized. The essential oils in the plant have been used in soaps, cleansers and insecticides.