||trees|deciduous|height 30-45'|spread 15-20'|sun/part shade|color in Fall|wildlife food||
Texas boasts at least seven species of Juniper - collectively called "cedars". They are found in the swamps of southeast Texas, cover the Hill Country, adorn the mountain west and even survive the Panhandle plains.
Cedars were much used by colonists to produce durable lumber for cabins, fence posts, etc. The berries were used medicinally and to flavor gin. Even today the wood is prized for use in cedar closets.
Cedars in the landscape are valued for the dense evergreen foilage and wildlife forage. While many people are allergic to the pollen the few in a landscape situation pose little or no problems. Cedars are fast growing, deer-proof and virtually pest free. They tolerate a wide range of soil conditions and will grow through a low light situation. Cedars may be sheared into hedges, even used as topiary. All species can be very ornamental and show potential for use as bonsai specimens.
The most recognized Texas species include the Ashe Juniper and Eastern Red Cedar. Weeping Juniper, a Big Bend area native, deserves wider distribution and would be an ideal species for the Texas Christmas tree industry. Other species that inhabit the western half of the state include the Red-berry Cedar (J. pinchottii) and Rock Mountain Cedar (J. scoopulorum). The most desirable of these is the Alligator Juniper (J. deppeana). This is a large cedar - with a height to 25' and up to 30' across. It has blue-green leaves and bark highly suggestive of an alligator's back.