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The cedar (Cedrus) forms its own genus of plants and belongs to the family of the pine family (Pinaceae). There are only three species worldwide - two of which, the Lebanon cedar (Cedrus libani) and the Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica) are native to the eastern Mediterranean and the North African Atlas Mountains at altitudes up to 2000 meters. The Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodara) can be found in the Hindu Kush, in Pakistan and in the northwest of India. Fossils have established that cedars were early victims of climate change: they originally settled in a contiguous area from the western Mediterranean to the Himalayas. Due to increasing periods of drought, over the millennia the stocks have increasingly concentrated on the relict deposits in the cool and humid altitudes of various mountain ranges.

In particular, Lebanon cedar, which also graces the Lebanese national flag with its distinctive sweeping crown, is relatively drought-resistant in summer. Their stocks were decimated in antiquity, because the high-quality wood in home, ship and furniture was much sought after. Cedarwood is light, durable and easy to work with. Incidentally, the intensively fragrant red-cedar wood is not a real cedar - it comes from the North American giant tree of life (Thuja plicata).

Appearance and growth

The three cedar species mentioned are sufficiently frost hardy in the Central European climate and can reach impressive heights of more than 30 meters in this country. They differ visually little and form in the age of a sweeping, very loose and irregularly structured crown with continuous central drive and almost horizontal branch floors. The needles are dark green to steel blue (in the variety 'Glauca' the Atlas cedar), one and a half to two inches long and are mainly in clusters on short side shoots of silver-gray branches. The male cones of the monoecious plants are greenish to pale ocher, ovate, about five inches high and stand upright on the branches. The females are greenish to reddish and much smaller with one centimeter height. Two to three years pass until seed maturity. As with the fir trees, the woody spindle stops after the cone shed is dropped off.

Lebanon cedar (Cedrus libani)

Old Lebanon cedar (Cedrus libani)

Location and ground

The cedar loves a sunny location and a balanced, cool-mild climate with sufficient rainfall. Although it prefers calcareous, deep soils, overall it is tolerant and also grows on weakly acidic, sandy ground. On low-precipitation winter, she often reacts with drought damage.

Planting and care

If possible, plant your cedar in the spring so that it is already well-rooted right up to the first frosts. If possible, do not place the tree too close to a building, as it is susceptible to windthrowing with its very shallow root system and large crown volume. After thorough casting, the soil should be sprinkled with horn shavings and then covered with bark mulch to keep the moisture well. A tree pole prevents larger cedars from falling over after the first gust of wind after planting. Hit the tree post diagonally into the ground and tie the end to the trunk. In this way, the branches reaching down to the ground do not get in the way.

Cedars are generally very easy to care for, but there is one important measure that you should not miss: Provide your cedar in time with dry water in dry winters. There is hardly any coniferous wood that is so sensitive to wintry drought. The drought damage is usually visible only during the season and then often misdiagnosed. You should avoid tillage in the root area and best remove weeds by weeding by hand.

To cut

Cutting measures are limited to setting the trunks of the cedar and removing individual, disturbing branches - this is best done in late summer or early spring. Larger cuts should be avoided.

winter protection

Young, freshly planted cedar trees in rough locations should be protected from frost damage during the first winter with a protective fleece and should be watered abundantly if there is no precipitation. The species 'Glauca' of the Atlas cedar is considered to be particularly hardy.


Due to their size, all cedars are only suitable for individual standings in larger gardens and parks. The trees were particularly popular in the naturalistic landscape parks of the 19th century. Its expressive crown shape with the pearly Benadelung makes a nice contrast to deciduous trees with yellow or red autumn colors such as the ginkgo or the maple. They can also be perfectly combined with various ornamental grasses. In addition, they are ideal with their light crown as living climbing frames for rambler roses like 'Bobbie James'.

Cedar in the garden

As you grow older, the crowns of the cedars expand umbrella-like


The seeds of the cedars are harvested as soon as the lower bud scales open, and released from the cones. It should be allowed to dry slightly and then best stored in glass jars in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. In February, seed the seeds in moist sand and stratify them for another one to two months in the refrigerator or in a sheltered, cool place in the field. They are then sown in boxes, poked into pots after emergence and wintered in the unheated greenhouse the first winter.
The garden varieties are refined in August by lateral plates on seedlings of Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica). The treatments are only connected with rubber bands and the plants are then cultivated further in the greenhouse.

Diseases and pests

Cedars are hardly affected by diseases and pests, but they are very sensitive to salt spray. After cold winters and even after planting, the trees often lose a large part of their needles. This is not worrying, as the conifers then drive out again.

Video Board: Table Top From Cedar Lumber.

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