The evergreen cedar (Cedrus) conifer belongs to the Pine family. It has a spectacular spreading crown as well as wood of high durability. Cedrus is rather widely used for landscaping in parks.
Peculiarities of Cedrus
Cedrus can be up to 50 meters tall, with a trunk that can be 2 to 3 meters across. The trunk and stems are covered with gray bark.
While the plant is young, its bark is smooth and thin, but over the years it becomes thicker and many cracks appear on it. The root system can be readily adapted to new conditions, and its shape depends directly on the soil conditions, but it is often superficial with many adventitious outgrowths. One of the main factors affecting the formation of the branched root system is the presence of moss.
Three- or four-edged needle-shaped needles are represented by pointed needles. Some species have soft needles (e.
g. Cedrus atlantica) and others have very hard needles (e.g. Cedrus libani). The color of the needles may vary from silvery to bright green.
This tree blooms in the fall. It is a monodomous tree, i.e. spike-like inflorescences consisting of female or male flowers are formed on its branches. The elongated and erect cones are light blue in color.
At the same time, the mature cones turn brown. It is a late-blooming plant and first buds do not appear on the tree until it is about 20 to 25 years old. The cone takes two to three years to mature, with the seeds falling out in the fall and winter.
Cedar (Cedrus) is often confused with cedar pine. This conventional name refers to several species belonging to the genus Pine (Pinus), for example: European Pine, Korean Pine, Siberian Pine and Stolan Pine.
Such trees have edible seeds, which are called "cedar nuts". But scientifically they are not cedar fruits or nuts, a more accurate name for such a product would be "pine seeds". In cedar the fruits are not consumed as food.
The average life span of such a tree is about 1,000 years. The oldest cedar tree is located in Japan on Yakushima Island, its age according to various data from 3 to 7 thousand years.
Over the years, the cedar tree begins to grow differently. The young cedar tree is characterized by rapid growth, while the mature plant grows moderately, with an annual growth rate of 20 to 30 centimeters.
Cedar species with photos and names
The genus Cedar includes 4 species, namely the Lebanese (C. libani), the Cypress or short-conifer (C. brevifolia), the Himalayan (C.
deodara) and the Atlas (C. atlantica). Often cedar is referred to as a plant that is not part of the Cedar (Cedrus) genus. For example, Siberian cedar is actually Siberian pine. It is not uncommon for the Caucasian cedar to be called C.
Deodara, but the Karelian Cedrus is a variety of conifers found in Karelian forests.
Himalayan Cedrus (Cedrus deodara)
This plant is of rapid growth, reaching a height of about 50 meters. The hanging horizontal stems form a cone-shaped wide crown. The fairly soft, stout, straight needles are greenish-silvery in color and vary in length from 20 to 50 mm. The cones are bluish-green when they are young, but become a brownish-reddish color as they mature.
The superficial root system has many offshoots, and the plant is not wind-resistant. It is found in the mountains at a height of up to 3.5 thousand meters above sea level. Its average life span is about 3 thousand years. Though its wood is soft, it is very hardy.
Lebanese cedar (Cedrus libani)
This tree can reach a height of 30 to 40 meters. The crown shape becomes umbrella-shaped over the years. Strong branches depart from the trunk at an oblique angle. The needles are about 40 mm long and some forms are light blue, others are bright green. Cones are pale brown in color.
The wood of this species is red, soft and light.
Cedrus atlantica (Cedrus atlantica)
This evergreen plant is 40 to 50 meters tall and its trunk reaches about 200 cm across. The silvery, lush needles are quite short (about 25 mm long). The fragrant wood has an odor similar to sandalwood. This plant is drought-resistant and, unlike other species, is not harmed by prolonged frosts as low as minus 20 degrees.
A short tree, with an average height of about 15 meters. Its short (about 1 cm) needles are colored with a greenish-blue hue. It is a variety of the Lebanese cedar.
The various species of cedar easily form interspecific hybrids. Hybrid forms formed between species such as Atlas and Himalayan are quite widespread.
In nature, cedars are found in the southern and eastern regions. That said, this tree is most often found in mountainous areas. Different species have different habitats:
- Himalayan cedar. The species is most widespread in the Himalayas, Afghanistan. The tree has been cultivated in Russia and Europe since the late 19th century.
It is found in the Caucasus, in Crimea and on the coast of the Black Sea.
- Lebanese cedar. It is found in Turkey, Abkhazia and Lebanon.
- Atlas cedar. It grows in Algeria, Abkhazia and Morocco.
- The short-coniferous cedar. This species grows on the island of Cyprus.
The tree grows and develops best in unconsolidated soil that contains very little lime. In the wild it prefers to grow in mixed forests, its neighbors being firs, spruces and pines. Cedar forests also occur, with only cedars growing in such forests.
Such a plant is often used for landscaping parks. It is quite a heat-loving tree, so it does not grow in Karelia, nor in Eastern and Western Siberia, where the climate is rather harshly frosty.
Planning and care of cedar
Planning in the open ground
Cedar has its root system in the upper layer of soil. For this reason, it is recommended to choose a site with loose soil and the top layer should be saturated with nutrients to plant the plant. Moisture- and air-permeable loam is best for such a plant.
It has a low resistance to wind, so a suitable site should be protected from strong gusts of wind and hurricane. It is therefore not recommended to plant such a tree on the seashore. This shade-tolerant crop thrives well in a shaded area.
Cedar is highly drought-resistant. It should be watered moderately because it can suffer a lot from stagnant water in the root system.
If the humidity is high, make sure that the soil is not overwatered, especially if it is calcareous, because this can cause chlorosis. The plant responds well to loosening the soil, as this helps to improve its oxygen supply.
In southern areas, this tree is grown both from seeds and seedlings, and propagated by grafting on pine. When choosing a place for planting cedar, you should take into account that he has a fairly wide and spreading crown, so he needs a large amount of free space. If you decide to buy a ready-made seedling, in this case it is recommended to give preference to a closed root system.
Features of planting in the open ground:
- planting cedar into the garden is recommended in the fall or spring;
- the seedling is planted in a prepared hole, with the earth clod to be kept whole;
- If a sapling with an open root system it should be planted as soon as possible;
- Soil in the ground in good time, then prepare a planting hole 30 percent larger than the root system together with the root ball;
- If the soil on the plot is exhausted, humus or peat should be added;
- The root system is very sensitive to fluid retention in the soil, therefore a 10 cm layer of drainage must be made in the bottom of the pit, for this purpose using clay, pebbles or brick fragments;
- a peg can be used to secure the seedling.
The planted tree should always be well watered. To slow down the evaporation of water from the soil, the surface of the root zone should be covered with a layer of mulch about 50 mm thick, you can use crushed bark, needles, peat or dry grass. The mulch layer will eventually begin to rot and release nutrients into the soil.
Water cedar only in summer during prolonged drought.
The soil should be moistened moderately.
Feed the cedar relatively rarely. This procedure is recommended only once during the season. A mineral complex for conifers is used for this purpose. Organic fertilizer, such as compost or biohumus, can also be used.
In autumn and spring, young stems are trimmed, and the cut areas are treated with garden varnish. Formative pruning is used to create a spreading crown. In order to prevent various diseases, experts recommend, systematically carry out sanitary pruning, and cut out all dried branches, and clean the soil surface from the fallen needles.
Deep autumn spend warming the tree. Sacking, fleece, lapstick (conifer branches), and peat 50 to 70mm thick can be used to cover the trunk.
Growing from seed
Cedar blossoms in the fall and pollination is done by wind. Such a tree under natural conditions is propagated by seed. The cones mature once every 2 or 3 years. Spreading of a fully mature cone takes place in the last autumn or first winter weeks. Often the seeds of such a plant are called nuts or hazelnuts, but scientifically this is a misconception.
The seeds have a thin skin and relatively large winglets. The seeds are highly resinous so they are protected from rodents and also help increase their germination.
After the seeds have been in the ground, the first seedlings can be seen in about 20 days. If you decide to propagate cedar with seeds, the following rules must be followed:
- the cones should be harvested in deep autumn, and they should be healthy and fully mature;
- the seed material should be placed in water for 2 or 3 days to germinate, and it should be systematically replaced with fresh;
- then the seeds are placed for several hours in a solution of manganese potassium, this is necessary to prevent diseases that are caused by pathogenic microbes;
- the seeds should be allowed to stratify for three months, buried in moistened sawdust or peat and placed in a place with a temperature of about 5 degrees;
- just before sowing the seeds are soaked again in a potassium manganese solution;
- In the early spring they are sown in a box filled with substratum, but placed 20-30mm deep and covered with a film;
- the substratum should be mixed with wood ash, superphosphate and peat and covered with a layer of sawdust.
The cover is not removed until the seedling is 2 years old.
The seedling is planted in a permanent place when it is five years old. Planted in fall or early spring.
How to grow a cedar,Growing cedars.
Such a tree is also propagated by cuttings. This method is fairly quick and promotes the preservation of the cedar variety.
- procure cuttings in the springtime on a cloudy day;
- it is recommended that they be cut from a young tree;
- a very sharp tool is used for cutting, also the cuttings can be plucked with a swift downward motion;
- the cuttings should have a "heel", a small piece of bark with a layer of wood;
- the bottom part is dipped in a product that promotes the growth of the roots;
- the planting should be oriented towards the sides of the world.
Give the cuttings warmth and moderate humidity; disease prevention is also important. The first roots should form after six months. Not all cuttings are rooted, and also this method is quite complicated. That is why cuttings are carried out only in a nursery.
Inexperienced gardeners are recommended to buy ready-made seedlings for planting.
Diseases and pests
The most dangerous for cedar are silkworm caterpillars and borers. Much less often the plant is affected by aphids, chermes and scales. The pests are controlled with suitable insecticides.
The tree is susceptible to fungal diseases.
Most often it is affected by root rot, which is caused by fungi of the genus Fusarium and Pythium. As a preventative measure, the moisture content and air permeability of the soil should be monitored. Remember, stagnant water is destructive to the plant. A diseased plant will develop a whitish scum at the base of its trunk. If the disease is severe, the needles may fall off.
Treat the diseased plant with a fungicide as soon as possible. Sick branches are cut off and destroyed by fire. Also dangerous to cedar is brown rot and rust. They cause the needles to turn yellow and fall off.
If the tree grows in a dry, lime-rich soil then this can cause chlorosis.
As a preventative measure, loosen the soil surface.
How to save cedar from the pest. Garden Head
Cedars growing in southern climates are used for harvesting valuable core wood that is highly durable. Cedar ornaments and handicrafts, as well as furniture, are quite popular. This wood is also widely used in construction, shipbuilding, and also in the manufacture of underwater structures.
Since the wood is soft, it is easy to process. It is very much like larch but lighter and whiter but less hardy.
The resin is used to produce rosin for soldering work and varnishes. The sap of such a tree when set forms amber, widely used in the manufacture of medical instruments, and also in jewelry.
Fruit is used in the perfume industry.
It is used to make essential oil with antimicrobial properties and a pleasant pine scent that calms and relieves anxiety. A decoction made from pine needles is rich in vitamin C, which can help with colds and scurvy.
MIGHTY CEDAR || Useful properties and uses
Cedar in landscaping
With its sprawling spectacular crown, cedars are widely used for landscaping in gardens and parks. The trunk can be about 50 meters high, so the cedar is suitable for shaping alleys. It is used for both single and group planting.
In landscape design, weeping forms are most often used, as well as varieties with blue and silver colored needles. Quite widespread in culture is the ornamental form of C. deodara Pendula, a low-growing plant with dangling arc-shaped stems, which are decorated with bright green needles.
Young cedars are suitable for creating hedges. Such a tree combines well with other conifers and with low ornamental and deciduous crops.
Dwarf varieties are often used to decorate Japanese-style stone gardens, as well as for topiaries and bonsai.