Mountain cedar, also known by its Latin name Juniperus ashei, is a drought tolerant native evergreen tree that causes winter/spring allergen in Texas. Although it is common in Mexico, in the USA, it is primarily found in Texas. The name Mountain Cedar originated from its highest density in the Hill Country area.
Despite its common name, the mountain cedar is actually a juniper (Juniperus ashei). Every year around December, we blunder into the midst of the cedar’s mating ritual. It begins with the appearance of the male cones—embarrassingly small, amber-colored structures no larger than a grain of rice.
How to Identify Cedar Trees. Cedars are evergreen trees that can be identified by their needles, cones and bark. Cedars have bluish-green needles, growing in groups along woody branches. Another identification feature of true cedar trees is their large, barrel-like cones that grow upward on branches rather than dangle.
How fast do cedar trees grow? In ideal conditions, a cedar tree will grow about 25 inches per year. However, it’s common for cedars to only grow 12 to 15 inches yearly.
Mountain cedar is a tree with a common name full of contradictions. The tree is not a cedar at all, and its native range is central Texas, not known for its mountains. What is mountain cedar? In fact, trees called mountain cedar are actually ashe juniper trees.
Mountain Cedar Symptoms
You may also experience a headache, fatigue, shortness of breath and a sore throat. Often referred to as “mountain cedar fever”, sufferers can experience symptoms when cedar trees release their pollen—any time between November and March.
Cedar fever, also referred to as allergic rhinitis, isn’t exactly what it sounds like. It’s not flu, and it’s not a virus — it’s an extreme allergy. Cedar fever is common in areas with a lot of mountain cedar or juniper trees. These trees release a large amount of allergy-causing pollen, and it overwhelms the body.
Even though these trees are commonly called “Mountain Cedar”, they are not Cedar trees! When the first Europeans saw them they thought they resembled the Cedar trees of Europe and the name stuck. However, the trees are actually Ashe Junipers, part of the Cypress family of trees.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, the Juniperus ashei, more commonly known as mountain cedar, is found in over 8.6 million acres in Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri but mainly concentrated in central and south Texas.
The cedar is known for its longevity and resistance to decay. Similarly, Mary’s sinlessness is an expression of immortality and absence of bodily degeneration. The cedar is a tall and noble tree. It becomes thus a symbol for Mary’s considerable spiritual stature, excellence and human perfection in God.
Cedars work well as windbreaks, helping to protect other trees and plants from the wind. Windbreaks also block snow. The trees also keep valuable topsoil in place when the trees act as windbreaks along the edges of agricultural land. Cedar trees also protect the soil from being eroded by water.
Eastern Red Cedar is very closely related to the Common Juniper, in fact they are in the same genus. The key obvious difference is that Juniper seldom grows as a tree, whereas Red Cedar nearly always does.
Top 10 Trees for a Natural Privacy Fence
Eastern Redcedar. For a large, rugged privacy tree that provides full coverage, the Eastern Redcedar is the conifer for you. Hybrid Willow Tree. Leyland Cypress. Spartan Juniper. Sky Pencil Holly. Green Giant Thuja (Arborvitae) Emerald Green Thuja (Arborvitae) Flowering Dogwood.
Planting a Cedar Hedge
When using cedars as a hedge, space each plant 2-3ft apart (from the trunks). Add an extra foot between plants for ‘Excelsa’. Dig the holes for your plants. Make sure the planting hole is at least twice the width of the rootballs and the same depth, or slightly shallower.
Tip. The growth rate of red cedars is moderate to fast and varies slightly based on cedar type. Eastern red cedars grow by 12 to 24 inches in height per year for their first 30 years, while Western red cedars can add 24 to 30 inches of height per year.
Some varieties of Cedar are completely food-safe and will give your food a delicious smoky flavor, but others won’t impart any flavor (and can even be poisonous).
With cedar fever, itching is common in the eyes, nose, throat, or even the ears. Difficulty breathing and shortness of breath are uncommon with cedar fever. However, those with allergic asthma may experience flare-ups when exposed to mountain cedar.
For example, contrary to popular belief, Mountain Cedars are not an invasive species. The tree has been native to Texas for millenia. Juniper pollen was found in a cave in north central Bexar County and dated to be more than 10,000 years old.