Recognize these blue…things?
Give us a guess. We’ll check back later!
As one of our readers guessed, this native tree is from the Juniper family–Juniperus virginiana, or Eastern Red Cedar. Many people call these little blue fruits the berries, but as Ms. Flora helped me to understand, they are actually seed cones for this evergreen.
They get lumpier as they mature and contain 1-3 seeds, that are dispersed far and wide after being eaten over the winter by many species of birds, including Eastern Bluebirds, Cedar Waxwings and Wild Turkey.
You humans probably see the Eastern Red Cedar growing along your roads in the east. It likes sun, and readily grows in disturbed soil. If not mowed and no other trees grow in its space, the cedar grows quite tall and broad. It can be very long-lived–some of your human reports say 850 years!
Unfortunately that nice juniper smell one of our readers mentioned comes from the oils in the needles and wood…and makes them very flammable in a fire.