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I believe this to be some kind of cedar (tree or bush), but would love to know which. Is it an actual cedar tree that could end up as a very large cedar tree? Or is it some kind of cedar scrub that will end up more like a plant?

It's about 12" tall at the moment. It was very prickly at first, as I mowed it down a few times (see this other question), but the more it grows, the softer it feels.

I'm in Northern Ohio. Any ideas, and if so, how can you tell?

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Looks like an Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), a native to Ohio. These are slow-growing trees that can get very tall and are not true cedars, although their wood has a pleasing scent. Note that the eventual form of the plant is variable - some specimens grow into a strongly narrow "classic pine tree" shape (called "fastigiate"), while others are much more pyramidal and some become chubby and short. Based on the current shape of your tree, I suspect that it will be in the pyramidal or fastigiate form. In any case, they are extremely easy trees to grow - essentially, do nothing and they'll grow just fine. They are also long-lived - the oldest tree known is over 900 years old.

This Wikipedia page has more information about the tree.

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  • Thanks very much!
    – Dave
    Sep 19 '20 at 0:58
  • You will not be able to grow apples in the area as when it gets large ,a fungus -cedar/apple rust, will like show up. The fungus does not bother the cedar. I am very familiar with them from MO, AR, and TX. I would rather chose a tree from a shop. In that area Blue Spruce would be very attractive. Sep 19 '20 at 16:14
  • @blacksmith - There are many varieties of apples that are resistant to cedar-apple rust (apples.extension.org/…). Also, spruces are susceptible to needle cast disease, which is in Ohio, making spruces a bad choice for the long term. (u.osu.edu/ornamentaldiseasefacts/nursery/…)
    – Jurp
    Sep 19 '20 at 16:23
  • It has been awhile since I tried to grow apples in MO. And spruce can get spider mites but they can be sprayed. Eastern White Pine ? Sep 19 '20 at 21:16

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