The bark of red cedar is light reddish brown-to-grey, and peels in long thin shreds. The leaves come in two distinct styles: awl-shaped on young growth and blunt-tipped on older growth. The purplish blue berries, which are covered with a white powdery bloom and are highly aromatic, are a favorite of more than 50 species of birds.
At one time the berries were used to flavor gin. The aromatic, red wood is often used to line cedar chests and closets.
A rust fungus frequently attacks this tree causing “cedar apples” to form on the twigs. Cornelia enjoyed how these trees could serve as a hedge, and she planted many of them to line the walkways.