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An evergreen tree with scale-like needles and shredded or shaggy bark. The species is dioecious, having separate male and female trees.
Open areas and edges of woods. Eastern red cedar requires direct sunlight and will be one of the first trees to grow as an abandoned field undergoes ecological succession. The shade it creates will allow other trees to grow--trees that will eventually lead to the death of the cedar in the dense shade.
Although a juniper rather than a true cedar, cedar is its common name, and lumber and furniture made from the wood is called cedar. The wood is rot resistant and contains aromatic chemicals that repel many insects, hence its use in cedar chests, etc.