Cedar – Cedrus libani

Tree of the Week

14th April 2020 | Info

Common name: Cedar 

Scientific name: Cedrus libani 

Introduction: The Cedar (Cedrus libani) is an evergreen conifer that is native to Lebanon, the east of the Mediterranean and the Asian minor. They have a distinctly beautiful form and were a popular choice of ornamental tree in the parks and gardens of stately homes. 


Leaves: Cedar trees have dark-green needles with a grey-ish tint and transparent tips. They form spirally all-year-round in clusters or rosettes along brown, hairy twigs.  

Bark: The bark of a Cedar is blackish-brown and has closely spaced ridges. As the cedar tree matures, cracks begin to develop.  

[The bark of a Cedar]

Form: Cedars have a very distinct shape. They are large trees with clear horizontal layers in their foliage. They typically have a broad crown where there is great level of spreading. 


Cedars are monoecious, meaning that both female and male cones grow on the same tree. Female cones grow separately and begin green, developing into a purply-grey then brown colour as they reach full maturity (which can be up to 12 months after pollination). They are relatively barrelshaped with a flattened top and a papery feel. Male cones begin as smaller separate cones that are a grey-tinted green and elongate and turn brown as they mature. They then release pollen into the air. 

[The cones and leaves of a Cedar tree]

Growth Habit

Most Cedars have a medium to fast growth rate. 

Ecological Importance

Cedar trees help to provide a habit for hundreds of invertebrates and many other animals. Mature trees especially, whose bark cracks and develops crevices with age, are ideal nesting places for owls such as the Tawny Owl. 

Properties Cedar Wood and its Uses

Cedarwood is known for being very durable and was once used in the Middle East as a construction material for templesCurrently, Cedarwood is commonly used in the UK for the making of clothes draws and wardrobes due to possessing moth repellent qualities.

Styling of Cedar trees/Where to Find Them

Cedar trees are well-adapted to UK climates and commonly appear in the parks and gardens of most stately homes. They are, however, less widely planted nowadays.

Associated Pests and Diseases

Unfortunately, Cedars are known to be susceptible to the severe disease, Sirococcus Blight of Cedar, which is caused by the harmful fungi, Sirococcus tsugaeThey are also known to be vulnerable to the Honey fungus and are prone to aphid attacks. 

Interesting Facts

Cedars were once believed to represent purification, protection and eternal life. 


Pruning and Pruning Qualities: Despite the common misconception that most ornamental trees require formative pruning to establish their attractive shapes, Cedars generally require little to no pruning. Cedars don’t respond well to pruning but when left to grow naturally, can reach their full potential without the need for extra help. It is also important to be aware that Cedars have a dead zone spot in the middle of their canopy, which is caused by the formation of new growth blocking out sunlight, causing sections to die. If you were to ever prune into the dead zone, then branches would cease to regrow. At times, however, it may be required to prune out dead or disease branches, which should be carried out with great care. If you are ever in doubt about what your tree needs or your tree, like the Cedar, is sensitive when it comes to pruning, then we advise that you consult the help and advice of your local, qualified tree surgeon. They will be able to inform you of what your tree needs and be able to carry out any necessary tree work for you. You can find your local tree surgeon here 

Growth Rate after Pruning: N/A. 

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