Conifer Trees: Cedrus or Cedar
The “Cedars” although not a large genus, include some excellent garden conifers and are grown widely because of their adaptability and ease of culture. They include some very large species which are familiar to the observant in nearly every corner of the British Isles. They generally prefer a well drained loamy, but will grow on heavy clay if not too wet. With age some of the larger Cedars change their habit from conical to flat-topped. The leaves are arranged in little tufts along the branches and branchlets, spirally on the young shoots. The species have large barrel-shaped cones, standing upright and nestling in the branches. Unfortunately the cones do not appear until the trees are some age.
Cedrus atlantica ‘Aurea’
Medium Tree. After ten years: l-2m. Ultimate Height: 3-5m.
This cultivar is much more commonly seen on the continent than in England. It is not very robust in habit and very much slower than the species. The leaves are a golden yellow.
A nice specimen when seen at its best.
Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’
Large tree. After ten years: 3-4m. Ultimate Height: 35-40m.
This “Blue Cedar” or “Atlas Cedar” is one of the most beautiful of all conifers. It is a select ed form of C. atlantica and like the species eventually becomes a very imposing tree. It is really too large for a small suburban garden as it needs space to show off its talents as a specimen plant. Bluish forms do occur from seed but most plants obtainable will have been propagated by. It will therefore need careful staking to train the main leading shoot to grow vertically. Once it is established and the leading shoot reaches over 1.85m. It should be on its way without further assist ance. This is a plant worth siting carefully and look ing after as it will repay handsomely for attention given in years to come.
Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula’
Large tree. After ten years: 1.50-2.20m. Ultimate Height:5-10m.
This plant is not often seen in England. It has the same bluish-white foliage of the previous cultivar but its branches fall downwards from the main trunk giving it an umbrella-like appearance. It must be trained upwards in its early years, otherwise it will become a prostrate plant.
Medium tree. After ten years: 60-90cm. Ultimate Height: 10-12m.
The “Cyprian Cedar” is a very slow growing species with small bluish green or green leaves, making a small to medium-sized tree.
Large tree. After ten years: 3-5m. Ultimate Height: 50m.
The “Himalayan Cedar” or “Deodar Cedar” is a very beautiful and graceful tree. It was introduced to England from its native habitat, the Himalayan mountains in the early 1800s and has since become a part of our landscape along with C. libani and C. atlantica. C. deodara differs from the other species in its drooping tips and arching leader. As the species is grown from seed it can vary in its greyish hues, with sometimes a touch of silver on the leaves.
In some parts of Western Europe the Deodar Cedar is not completely hardy, but it is rarely damaged by our winters. It is an ideal specimen tree but room for expansion should be allowed, for although a slow starter after transplanting, it soon puts on height and width.
Cedrus deodara ‘Aurea’
Medium Tree. After ten years: 1.20-1.50m. Ultimate Height: 3-5m.
The “Golden Deodar Cedar” is much slower growing but will vary in ultimate height and rate of growth according to climate. It is not so hardy as the species. The leaves turn a golden yellow in spring, losing this colour slightly through the autumn and winter. Al though most attractive when well grown this can be a disappointment in some situations.
Large Tree. After ten years: 1.80 – 2.40m. Ultimate Height: 25-40m.
The “Cedar of Lebanon” is famous for its historical and biblical associations; the oldest recorded specimen still in cultivation in England dates back to about 1638. C. libani is not now planted much having been somewhat overtaken in popularity by C. deodara. This species is conical when young, becoming characteristically flat topped with age. Its leaves vary from bright to dark green. It is of slower growth than C. atlantica with more numerous branches.
Cedrus libani ‘Nana’
Medium Tree. 60-90cm. Ultimate Height: 5-6m. This is a slow growing cultivar of compact and dense habit. It has branches clothed with tufts of bright green leaves.
Cedrus libani ‘Sargentii’
P.S. After ten years: 60-90cm. Ultimate Spread: 3-4m.
This is a most attractive conifer for a largeor a bank. It is slow growing with a true weeping habit. It can be trained upwards when young to a required height and will then in time form a rounded bush. It can be used to its best advantage hanging over a wall or a small rock outcrop. If not used or trained in the right position it can sprawl most untidily. With this cultivar and many other conifers the use to which they are put and the way they are cultivated are all important.