Blue Atlas Cedar - plants, grooming and tips on diseases


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The Blue Atlas Cedar can be found in many parks in Central Europe. But you can also plant in the garden. However, there are some things to consider.

Blue Atlas cedar

The Blue Atlas Cedar, whose name is in the jargon Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca', belongs to the family of the pine family and to the genus of cedars. The name of this cedar species already reveals a lot about their origin. It comes from the mountains of the same name in Algeria and Morocco. In the home of the cedar are very hot summers on the agenda. In addition, the cedar is exposed to snow in winter, which is due to their altitude at altitudes of 1,000 to 1,800 meters.

In addition to the blue, there is also the green Atlas cedar, which is due in each case to the needle coloring of these two cedar species. In the blue Atlas cedar, the needles are characteristically steel blue. As an ornamental plant, this pine plant can therefore make any impression in your own garden. Especially in the Rhineland, on Lake Constance and RΓΌgen feels the Atlas cedar well.

Incidentally, the Atlas cedar can not only be planted as a large conifer in your own garden. Rather, the Blue Atlas cedar offers as bonsai chic, and it requires a corresponding amount of patience to cultivate the Atlaszeder to bonsai size. The Blue Atlas cedar also makes itself very well in parks as an ornamental plant, in urban areas and as a bird protection shrub.

Distribution of Atlas cedar

The blue type of Atlas cedar is found in Central Europe in many parks. On the other hand, the Atlas cedar has been considered endangered in its home country since 2013 - at least as far as the spread to game sites of the plant is concerned. Since then, the Blue Atlas Cedar has been listed in the Red List, which means that the World Conservation Union cedar of the endangered plant species.

Classification of this cedar species

There are only four species of cedars, including the Atlas cedar. The other cedar species bear the following names:

  • Cyprus cedar
  • cedar of Lebanon
  • Himalayan cedar

Compared to the green Atlas cedar, the blue variant is much winter hardy and thus better suited for the local areas. Therefore, the conifer can also be planted in the colder regions of northern Europe. It takes a very long time for this cedar species to blossom (if at all), usually between 25 and 30 years. If it comes to a flowering of Atlas cedar, this is the case only in the fall.

With good care and ideal site conditions, conifers of this species can reach an age of up to 900 years! The diameter of the trunk is then two meters in such an old plant specimen. In addition, the Atlas cedar sprouts up to 40 meters in height.

Even in winter, this evergreen cedar keeps its needles, as these are extremely winter-proof due to their low surface area. In addition, the needles need only a few nutrients and can thus be excellent over the winter rescue. A special wax layer also ensures that dehydration or frost pose no problem for the needles of the Atlas cedar.

Detailed description of the Atlas cedar

Atlas cedar is a single-sex pine plant that produces cones on its short shoots characterized by the following characteristics:

  • male cones: 3 - 5 inches long / cylindrical / pale, yellow color
  • female cones: green to red / rather inconspicuous / 1 centimeter long / egg-shaped

Only when the cones of the Atlas cedar are ripe, they take on a much more imposing shape. Then they have a length of 5 to 7.5 inches and the diameter of the pin can amount to up to four inches. They have either a flat or a slightly dented tip together with a barrel-shaped shape. Only in the second year are the then light brown cones upright in the air.

It takes two to three years for the cones of the Atlas cedar to fully mature. Then it comes to a disintegration of the pins, so that henceforth only the lignt pin spindle remains. The easily germinating seeds of the Blue Atlas Cedar have a length of 1 to 1.2 centimeters.

Use of cedar oil

As with the Himalayan cedar, cedar oil can also be obtained from the wood shavings of the Atlas cedar. This is done by means of the so-called steam distillation. The oil is not only important as an essential oil for household use, but also in the perfume industry. Cedar oil is commonly considered even the first vegetable oil ever, which was ever won by human hands. The oil exudes a pleasant, as tart to describe fragrance, which has a certain similarity to the scent of sandalwood.

The healing effect of Atlas cedar

Many pine trees are considered a remedy for the disease. This is no different with the Atlas cedar. The exhalations of these conifers, for example, are said to have an invigorating effect on the bronchi. This is not only good for colds.Rather, inhaling these exhalations can also have a positive effect on respiratory problems caused by asthma.

Importance of the Atlas cedar in ancient times

The wood of the Atlas cedar was given special importance in antiquity. In the Middle East in particular, people built a series of temples and decorative elements in sacred buildings made from the wood of the Atlas cedar. In ancient Egypt, on the other hand, the Atlas Cedar wood was used for shipbuilding and furniture construction, for the processing of decorative trinkets and as part of the sarcophagi of the deceased pharaohs.

Plant Atlas Cedar - How to do it right

The perfect location:

Home gardeners should keep the Atlas cedar outdoors - this is also true for the bonsai version of the conifer. A bright location, where the cedar is sufficiently supplied with sun, ensures that the cedar can form a particularly thick and robust trunk. Rain and wind also contribute to a hardening of the needles, which in turn makes them particularly resistant to many common diseases and pests. The soil condition should be as follows:

  • sandy-dry
  • deep foundation-humos
  • pH value: slightly acidic to alkaline (about 6 to 7)
  • normal to loose soils

Planting instructions:

Autumn is the perfect time to plant the Atlas cedar. Proceed as follows:

❢ Place the root ball in a bucket with sufficient water.

❷ Lift out a planting pit. It should have twice the root ball volume.

❸ Create a drainage layer of gravel, grit and potsherds in the area of ​​the plant pit bottom.

❹ For ideal nutrient conditions, enrich the excavation with a mixture of loam soil, bark humus, compost and plenty of horn shavings.

Einsetzen Now place the Atlas cedar in the planting hole, place a support pile in the pit and attach the tree to it with a coconut tape.

Wieder Now refill the excavation and tighten the soil well.

How big should the planting distance be?

If you want to plant an Atlas Cedar tree in your own garden, you should make sure that the distance to the street as well as the neighbor's plot is four or more meters. For all buildings, a minimum distance should be maintained, which is 50 percent of the expected final height, which can amount to 30 to 40 meters in the Blue Atlas cedar quite. Adjacent plants must be kept at a lateral distance of half the growth width of six to ten meters.

How to properly cultivate the Blue Atlas Cedar

Blue Atlas cedar

❍ pouring:

In general, the blue Atlas cedar is expected to require less water. However, the conifer may not completely dry out. Otherwise this could possibly lead to a dying of the roots. Especially with strong sunlight and high temperatures, the water requirement of the Atlas cedar is increased accordingly. Both the mature conifer and the Atlas Cedar Bonsai should be watered more often under such conditions.

During the growing season, excessive watering is not recommended. Nevertheless, the Atlas cedar prefers moist soil all year round. Stale tap water is ideal for pouring the bonsai variant of the Atlas cedar. You can also use a shower to water the bonsai without swelling the soil too much. In this way, you can also remove the needles of the Atlas cedar from dust.

❍ Fertilize:

If it is an Atlas cedar bonsai, it must be fertilized sufficiently. From spring to autumn, which corresponds to the growth phase of the plant, fertilization is a must. Only immediately after repotting the Blue Atlas Cedar should there be a short fertilizer break. A spherical, organic spreading fertilizer is generally recommended.

With the Atlaszeder-NadelbΓ€umen fertilization is recommended only for young plants. Organic fertilizers such as e.g. Compost, horn shavings and horse dung. Older Atlas cedars, on the other hand, no longer need this additional supply of nutrients.

❍ Atlas cedar wires:

The appearance of the Blue Atlas Cedar can be changed by hanging the conifer. The best way is to use an aluminum wire. Now it is necessary to wrap the trunk together with the affected branches and branches spirally with the aluminum wire. Work from the bottom up, making sure the wire is not too loose. By May at the latest, you will have to remove the wire, as the Blue Atlas Cedar is showing its growth in thickness at this time. If you did not remove the wire in time, it would leave clear marks in the area of ​​the trunk, branches and twigs.

❍ pruning:

Immediately after planting the blue Atlas cedar may be cut back by about one third. If all twigs are shortened by the mentioned length, this contributes significantly to the vitality of the conifer, whose branches branch out even more. If the blue Atlas cedar shows a harmonious growth, the pruning is usually only required in height.Too long shoots are best cut in the spring, while still a piece of fresh wood should stop. Because of old Atlaszeder wood, the conifer can only drive out with difficulty again. The following tips also help to ensure that the Blue Atlas Cedar survives the pruning as well as possible:

  • only cut on frost-free days when it is covered
  • Use a very sharp pair of scissors that has just been sharpened fresh
  • always cut off any deadwood of the Atlas cedar immediately in the area of ​​the base

If you want to cultivate the Atlas cedar as bonsai, you must cut back the conifer at regular intervals. You have to cut back both the roots and the shoots, twigs and branches. The pruning may only take place in the period from May to September, whereby the distance between the individual pruning should be between six and eight weeks.

❍ repot:

Especially the Atlas Cedar Bonsai needs to be repotted at regular intervals. The ideal time for this is either September or the spring. That should be done at intervals of four to five years. Then you have to cut the roots of the Atlas cedar before repotting, so that the root system of the steel blue conifer can then branch better. Excessive pruning of the roots, however, must not be done as this could mean the end of the Blue Atlas Cedar.

At the latest when it is clear that the tree threatens to burst the boundaries of its planter, it is time to replant the Atlas cedar. Be sure to fall back on a larger planter. When repotting, it is always necessary to replace two-thirds of the old soil with the new bonsai-soil mixture in order to provide the plant with plenty of new nutrients for healthy growth. The new soil mixture should consist of one-third of pumice, lava and Akadama. You should not add humus, because it stores too much water, which the Bonsai of the Blue Atlas Cedar does not get.

❍ overwintering:

The hardy conifer can hibernate outdoors without any problems. Only the Atlas Cedar Bonsai and young cedar plants need special precautions. So it makes sense, for example, if you use the bonsai peel in peat. You can then cover the surface of the planter with substrate, which should be at least five centimeters thick, to provide sufficient winter protection. You can also cover the Atlas Cedar Bonsai with a suitable plastic wrap to prevent the plant from drying out in heavy frost.

During his youth, you should also protect the Atlas Cedar Tree from frost. Otherwise, temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius can cause frost-related damage. It can take eight to twelve years for the Blue Atlas Cedar to be completely hardy. Therefore, planting in a sheltered location makes sense. The following protective measures are useful:

  • Cover lower tree area with brushwood and deciduous layer (about 30 centimeters)
  • Protect the crown by wrapping it in a straw mat, jute tape and reed
  • Plant only in winter on those days when there is no frost

❍ Diseases and pests:

If you follow the care instructions mentioned above, the Atlas cedar itself, as a bonsai, is relatively unaffected by various diseases and pests. Should the Atlas Cedar Bonsai still suffer from a pest infestation, then it makes sense to resort to commercial pesticides. This is especially true if the Blue Atlas Cedar is affected by the following damage and tree diseases:

Pear rust:
An infestation of the Blue Atlas cedar with pear grid can be recognized by the intense red discoloration. The affected parts of the plant should then be cut back. Here are some more tips on combing pear grid.

Hawthorn Grate & Wachfer Rust:
The hawthorn grating, however, it comes to unsightly thickening of the plant, which will kill the affected branches and branches sooner or later. In addition to the cutting back of the affected plant components, the use of a special rust fungus means makes sense. The same applies to the treatment of juniper rust, which is also noticeable by wart-like thickening and orange-red discoloration.

Damage caused by road salt:
Fortunately, damage from road salt can usually be avoided in hobby gardens. Should it nevertheless come to such a damage, then the exchange of soil together with a sufficient fertilization and irrigation of the Atlaszeder makes sense. By the way, in a conifer tree a dry damage can be recognized by the following symptoms, which sometimes appear delayed and therefore are not always so easy for the layman to assign:

  • Yellowing of the needles
  • NadelrΓΆte
  • premature failure of the needles

Black snowflake:
On the other hand, an infestation with snow mold occurs only at high altitudes from 1,400 meters above sea level and only under a dense snowpack. Thus, most hobby gardeners are not affected by this problem. Incidentally, the black snow mold leads to brown needles, which subsequently fall off as tufts.

Pestalotia-twig blight:
The Pestalotia branch dieback is also a fungal infection associated with brown branch tips. Unless the Atlas cedar is already severely weakened, however, infestation is unlikely. If it comes to an infestation, you must necessarily remove the corresponding components of the Blue Atlas Cedar.

Video Board: Atlas Cedar - Cedrus atlantica - How to grow Blue Atlas Cedar - Cedrus atlantica glauca.

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