A family of mainly large evergreen conifers with needle-like leaves. Conical when young but broadening with age. The main species produce impressive trees that can easily reach 100ft (30m) or more in height with a spread of around 60ft (20m).
Botanical Name: Cedrus
Common Names: Cedar, fountain tree.
Foliage: Evergreen, green to grey-green, needle-like leaves, arranged spirally or whorled on short side-shoots.
Blossom: Ovoid seed cones. The cones don't usually fall but break up on the tree to release seeds.
Soil: Well-drained soil (chalk, clay, sand or loam). Acid, alkaline or neutral pH.
Conditions: Plant in full sun, in a south, east or west facing aspect.
Habit: Tall, bushy.
Origin: Worldwide distribution.
Hardiness: Fully hardy in the UK.
Thrives in any well-drained, moderately fertile soil, in full sun. Container grown specimens can be planted out at any reasonable time but do best when planted in either early spring or autumn. Large varieties make good specimen trees but need plenty of space to reach full potential.
The growth habit is conical at first but with age the branches usually spread out providing a more tiered appearance.
Stake firmly after planting and water well until established.
Can be affected by conifer aphid. Prone to honey fungus.
Increase from seed when ripe or take semi-hardwood cuttings in spring or summer.
Most species are far too large for the average sized garden, however there are a number of smaller, more compact varieties, suitable for large to medium gardens.
Cedrus atlantica (Mt Atlas Cedar) is a large upright, spreading tree with dark green foliage. Eventual height: 100 to 130ft (30-40m). Cultivar 'Glauca' (Blue Cedar) is a beautiful blue-green conifer widely grown as a specimen tree in lawns. 'Glauca Pendula' is a more compact weeping form. The popular variety 'Aurea' is a lovely yellow-leaved form.
Cedrus deodara (Himalayan cedar) has graceful drooping branches and soft green foliage. Once established it grows vigorously and may reach 80ft (25m) or more. The dwarf cultivar 'Pendula' bears long needles and has a more graceful habit. Height to 6ft (1.8m).
Cedrus libani (Cedar of Lebanon) is a stately tree with horizontal spreading branches and green foliage. Although slow-growing it can reach 80ft (25m) or more. 'Aurea' bears golden foliage in the spring. The dwarf variety 'Nana' has a more slow growing bushy habit. Height to 6ft (1.8m).