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Native trees and shrubs can be used in your garden and landscaping. They provide beauty along with important shelter and food for wildlife. These plants can be enjoyed for many years and require very little care.
eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana)
Photo © 2008, Adele Hodde, IDNR Office of Public Services. Photo rights available for purchase.
Eastern redcedar is a medium-sized tree with red-brown bark that splits into long shreds. Two types of leaves are present: tiny flat, triangular leaves that are arranged opposite each other on the stem; and needlelike leaves that may be up to three-fourths inch long. Leaf color varies and may be blue-green, green or yellow-green. Male and female flowers develop on separate trees. The flowers are tiny. The spherical fruit developing from the flowers is dark blue with a white covering, berrylike and contains one or two seeds. Well-drained soil is the preferred habitat for this tree. The densely packed branches and evergreen leaves provide good roosting spots for birds in the winter. Berries are an excellent wildlife food source, too.
For more information about native Illinois plants, including where to purchase them and planting guides, the following publications are available through the IDNR order form at http://dnr.state.il.us/teachkids.
Prairie Establishment and Landscaping
Landscaping for Wildlife