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Cedar of Lebanon Cedrus libani

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
SEE-drus LIB-an-ee
Description

Cedrus libani is a evergreen conifer that is slow growing in it first 20 years.  It may only reach heights of 20' during that time period.  However, its mature height will typically reach 40-60', and occasionally taller.  Heights of up to 120' have been recorded.  A trunk up to 10' is common in mature trees.

Its form is pyramidal in youth.  As it ages, it becomes more dense and flat-topped, with horizontally spreading branches. This specimen has a thick massive trunk and is quite picturesque.

Native to Turkey, it is the most winter hardy cedar of the true cedars.  It has a columnar form with short green to blue-green to dark green needles and narrow 3-4 inch cones that mature every other year in the fall.  Its branches grow horizontally with the lower branches sweeping the ground.

Although it prefers acidic soil, it can also be grown in neutral and alkaline conditions.

This low-maintenance specimen needs no regular pruning.  It can form several leaders if left alone.  Pruning can be done to form a central leader.  This should be accomplished in the fall.  

Choose your planting location carefully, as this tree is often difficult to transplant.  

Its stately stature makes it a great choice for estate gardens and public parks.

Two types of cones are produced by Cedrus libani.  Its upright yellow cones are pollen-bearing,  They are up to 2" long and appear from summer through fall at the end of short shoots.  Erect seed cones are larger, up to 4" long.  Young cones are green/purple and mature to a reddish brown.  

Quick ID:

  • All Cedrus genus members have new needles that are born singly on stems
  • Needles are triangular to quadrangular in cross-section
  • Female woody barrel-shaped cones sit on top of the branches

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  It is not tolerant of air pollution and shade.  A difficult tree to transplant.

There are no serious insect or disease issues.  It may incur root tot or tip blight.

Some people may have an allergic reaction with this tree.

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Green Prince'
    Dwarf form - 4' x 4'
'Green Prince'
Tags:
#evergreen#drought tolerant#needles#showy#slow growing#conifer#tree#woody#winter interest#needled evergreen#needled#long lifespan#cold tolerant#winter hardy#winter garden#wet soil intolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Green Prince'
    Dwarf form - 4' x 4'
'Green Prince'
Tags:
#evergreen#drought tolerant#needles#showy#slow growing#conifer#tree#woody#winter interest#needled evergreen#needled#long lifespan#cold tolerant#winter hardy#winter garden#wet soil intolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cedrus
    Species:
    libani
    Family:
    Pinaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Turkey to Lebanon, Cyprus
    Fire Risk Rating:
    high flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Squirrels are attracted to the cones.
    Play Value:
    Easy to Grow
    Fragrance
    Screening
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 40 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 30 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Horizontal
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is an erect cone with a flat or slightly concave apex. The seeds from the cones are shed from ripening until spring.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    3-5 in. upright cone; purple brown
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Black
    Blue
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Prickly
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    .75-1.5 in. stiff, dark green to almost black green foliage with silver blue stripes. Typically appear in tuffs of 30 to 40 needles.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Fissured
    Bark Description:
    Its fragrant bark is dark gray and fissured.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Lawn
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Screen/Privacy
    Shade Tree
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Small Mammals
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Problems:
    Messy