Eastern Red cedar tree, Juniperus virginiana.

Q: My neighbor has a juniper tree which has blue berries on it. Why I don’t see these berries on other similar trees?

Q: My neighbor has a juniper tree which has blue berries on it.  Why I don’t see these berries on other similar trees?  Is it a special variety?

A: I am impressed with your power of observation.  I believe you are looking at the female tree of the Eastern Red cedar tree, Juniperus virginiana. The reason you are not seeing the fruit on the other trees as these trees have male and female trees.  The females bear the fruit while the male trees produce pollen. Red cedar trees are evergreen reaching heights upward to 50 feet which spread 8 to 15 feet when grown in a sunny location. The fruit is a blue berry on female trees and they are very showy when the production is heavy. The fruit is strikingly beautiful against the dark green leaves. The fruit provide food for wild birds when winter food is limited.  The tree is highly drought and salt tolerant; it is not finicky about soil types. The shape of the tree develops best when grown in full sun but it will survive partial shade as I have a volunteer tree in my back yard growing in partial shade.  Eastern Red cedars are difficult to transplant due to a coarse root system, except when quite small.  There are a handful of cultivars to choose from and most reputable plant nurseries would be able obtain them upon request. For more complete information check out the website from the University of Florida publication on the tree:  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st327