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Monday, March 28, 2011

Cedrus deodara - Deodar Cedar

Deodar cedars are very attractive large evergreen conifers. Younger specimens are beautiful, soft and weepy, while mature specimens are more open.

Best in parks, schools and others areas where it can be allowed to grow, however more often than not you will find them in the front yard of your neighbors house. Not hard to understand why, they have an almost hug-able texture and habit when young. Soft, weepy, graceful with a weeping leader, ahhh.

Then you wake up 10 years later and OMG what have I planted in my small front yard? Not quite the front yard but yikes

Fast growing evergreen conifer to 50' tall and about 30' wide, strongly pyramidal shape, strong central leader with outward horizontal laterals when mature, or more upright when young like in the picture above. The secondary laterals are pendulous as is the central leader adding to the soft texture. Can be up to 80 feet under great conditions, like in the pacific northwest. This is a reasonably mature specimen at the Sesnon House showing the typical habit but with greater age they will become more flat topped.

Leaves (needles) are evergreen, linear or needle like, gray-green color, 1-2" long and in clusters (spurs) of 20-40 per spur. New stems produce same needles radially around the trunk with bud in the axil of each leaf. The bud grows into the spur, each year producing leaves and losing others. Generally on a 5-6 yr rotation.

One-year shoots densely pubescent. Also showing the leaves on elongating shoots are not in clusters but that the clusters come from the lateral buds just starting to grow.

Male cones are elongated ephemeral structures lasting only long enough to release the pollen. Borne on the tops of lower branches.

Female cones are 3-4" tall x 2" wide, forming in the fall, maturing in the summer and breaking up into scales that fall to the ground, along with the seeds. The central axis remains for some time. Initially green and purplish, then later turning a reddish brown when mature, usually resinous. Cones generally rounded at the top.

Trunks straight grayish brown bark, shallowly fissured with flat ridge plates.

Many cultivars available, too many for sure, one of my favorite conifer nursery, Stanley and Sons lists at least 40.

Please give them room. This is trouble waiting to happen.

More than likely a greener form of Cedrus atlantica or perhaps if you are lucky and stumble across a C. libani.


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