Deodar Cedar Info: Tips On Growing Deodar Cedar In The Landscape


By: Teo Spengler

Deodar cedar trees (Cedrus deodara) are not native to this country but they offer many of the advantages of native trees. Drought tolerant, fast-growing and relatively pest free, these conifers are graceful and attractive specimens for the lawn or backyard. If you are thinking of growing deodar cedar trees, you will find these evergreens perfect for specimens or soft hedges. Read on for more details about deodar cedar care.

Deodar Cedar Info

This airy evergreen cedar tree rises to 50 feet (15 m.) or more when cultivated, and much taller in the wild. It is native to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, and thrives in the coastal regions of the United States.

Deodar cedar trees grow into a loose pyramid shape, with 2-inch (5 cm.) long whorled needles that give the tree a soft allure. The branches extend almost horizontally, angling slightly down, and the tips rise slightly.

Needles of the deodar cedar are a slivery-green, making it a very attractive and popular ornamental. The trees are either male or female. Males grow the pollen-filled catkins, while females produce the egg-shaped cones.

Growing Deodar Cedar

If you are growing deodar cedar, you’ll want to find out how to care for a deodar cedar tree. First, you need to live in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 9 and have plenty of space. These trees are most beautiful when they keep their lower branches, so it is best to plant them somewhere they will not be disturbed.

Deodar cedar info will help you plant these trees in an appropriate site for their growing requirements. Find a sunny site with slightly acidic, well-drained soil. The tree also grows in partial shade and accepts sandy, loamy or clay soils. It even tolerates alkaline soil.

How to Care for a Deodar Cedar Tree

Deodar cedar care for a properly planted tree will not take much of your time and energy. Deodar cedar trees are very drought resistant, so if your area gets occasional rainfall, you may not need to irrigate. Otherwise, provide moderate amounts of water in dry weather.

These trees live for a long time with few, if any, pest issues. They require no pruning, other than removing broken or dead branches, and provide maintenance free shade and beauty in your garden.

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Cedrus Species, Deodar Cedar, Himalayan Cedar

Family: Pinaceae (py-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cedrus (SEE-drus) (Info)
Species: deodara (dee-oh-DAR-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Abies deodara
Synonym:Cedrus libani var. deodara
Synonym:Cedrus libani subsp. deodara
Synonym:Larix deodara
Synonym:Pinus deodara

Category:

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Foliage:

Foliage Color:

Height:

Spacing:

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Danger:

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

From seed germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen clean and dry seeds

Regional

This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Burlington, North Carolina

Beaufort, South Carolina(2 reports)

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Saint Helena Island, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Gardeners' Notes:

On Oct 29, 2020, UtahTropics12 from Salt Lake City, UT (Zone 7b) wrote:

This tree does very well here in Utah zone 7a/7b+ with our dry winters and is extremely common. There’s several large 50 foot + specimens in Salt Lake City and in Utah County. They’ve survived lows down to 5-10 degrees F on REALLY bad winters unscathed and without any sort of damage. Very good looking/unique and reliable addition to any dry Southwest climate in zones 7 and above!

On Apr 15, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Deodar cedar isn't generally hardy north of Z7, but there are two wild-collected trees that have survived over fifty years at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston (Z6a). The arboretum has distributed this clone under the name 'Shalimar'.

On Apr 14, 2015, RosemaryK from Lexington, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have two seedlings from the Paktia group, Karl fuchs and Eisregen, and also Silver Mist. All of them survived our rough winter while their pots were submerged in about four feet of heavy snow. They're tougher than they look.

On Oct 12, 2011, uglysteve from Apache Junction, AZ wrote:

This tree was for sale at the local garden center, I thought I would give it a try. I have not seen them at my elevation, 1800 feet. I have seen them at 3000 feet. I am in Sunset zone 12.

I planted it in a wash, under the NE corner of a large Mesquite tree. It's in fast draining sandy loam soil, ph 7.5. It gets 6 hours of morning sun at this time of year, October. Will get occasional summer and winter floods, about 10 a year. Has a great alpine look, and will make a great addition to my desart forest if it lives.

Will post updates in a year to report on how it survives the summer heat of 110+ F.

On Aug 8, 2010, fdfleet from Knoxville, TN wrote:

I have 5 of these beautiful trees in my yard. 3 are grouped and are gorgeous with the area underneath covered with the short needles. I have one that is growing in an area of the yard that stays wet most of the time. it is on a hill so that might make a difference. It is growing at an unbelievable rate of about 6 feet per year. I have noticed some rather large conical shaped growths on the tree, about 4-5 inches in length and about 3 inches in diameter. Seems much too large for a cone from that tree but I don't know. Would love some direction with this issue. Have had a worm issues in the past but Sevin knocked them out.

On Oct 26, 2009, Pogo53 from Tacoma, WA wrote:

The trees are beautiful. But. I have 2 trees at least 80 years old in my back yard. They are huge, and drop needles constantly. They hang over the driveway and the needles get into everything including car vents along the windshield and house gutters. The needles are slippery, so they need to be swept up if on a concrete surface. If you choose to plant this tree, make sure it's where you don't mind the needle drop, and that it is well away from the house and any sidewalks. And big trees produce a lot of yellow pollen in the fall.

On Jan 23, 2009, Pinyon from Prescott, AZ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Just barely tolerates the cold in my area which occasionally burns recent growth. Other than that, these are fantastic plants that grow quite quickly and pretty much take care of themselves after a few years of regular watering, sporting a very pretty, heavily drooping conical form.

On Jan 5, 2009, lilybob from Longmont, CO wrote:

I recently saw a golden deodara growing in Boise, Idaho. Out of its cold range, but apparently doing OK. Anyone with experience growing this in zone 5? Lilybob in Colorado.

On Jun 8, 2007, Opoetree from Oak View, CA wrote:

There are quite a few deodar cedars in my area in the Ojai Valley. One of the nurseries has a HUGE tree in the front. I bought a small 4 ft. tall one for a xmas tree last xmas. It is still in the pot. I need to find a place to let it grow to maturity. Such a lovely, lovely tree with its coloring and gracefully drooping branches. A gift to treasure!

On Mar 17, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Cedrus deodara DEODAR CEDAR EG (z7) (Bon)
"A noble giant. & probably the best of the big conifers in the warmer localities"(Barber & Phillips)pyramidal & wide-spreading with branch tips "drooping in a manner that gives the whole tree a graceful aspect"S/GDr

On May 4, 2006, sylvainyang from Edmond, OK wrote:

This tree has the nicest shape but freeze in winter, I got four and four of them die at one gallon size. The nursery said 75%
of them dead at the nursery before they get in to market, this is why they are so expensive. The golden Deodora is easier to get freezed in Oklahoma.

On Apr 21, 2005, joshz8a from z8a, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

I'm growing this in a 14" pot. Not sure if it will do well longterm but for 6 years now it's been happy and healthy. Label just read 'Deodar Cedar' but it has lovely silvery green foliage, a straight stem to about 4 feet then spreads out in a canopy shape 3 feet wide. Might be partly the result of somewhat cramped roots in pot, and the fact that it once blew over in storm and broke the top which I then trimmed back but I love the form it's taken. Grows in full sun.
A favorite of many small potted trees which I enjoy growing. josh z8a

On Sep 30, 2003, cici77 from Banning, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Beautiful BEAUTIFUL tree. very drought-tolerant when it's older. We have them lining our road and they only get watered when it rains, and I live 15 min north of Palm Springs, California (U.S.)

I have collected the seeds and hope to grow more for our land this tree has a very possitive A+ in my book - the weeping look of the tree is just beautiful!

On Aug 28, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This tree grows quickly, reaching up to 80 feet. It does need regular watering when it's young, but when it's established, it's drought-tolerant. It prefers full sun.

On Jun 24, 2001, wannadanc from Olympia, WA wrote:

Fast growing to 80 ft, this is not a tree for a small yard, as it quickly takes up too much space with a 40 ft spread at ground level. It is a graceful appearing tree, with a distinctive nodding tip.


Cedar Bonsai Care

With some knowledge and patience, you should be able to create a beautiful work of living art that you will be proud of for years to come if you are able to source a Cedar tree suitable for bonsai.

Light

Your Cedar Bonsai will prefer full sun and requires at least six hours a day of sunlight. If you can furnish it with more, all the better.

The appropriate soil for the Cedar Bonsai is a mix made with mostly inorganic aggregates. You can buy a premix or make your own using pine bark, lava rock and a product called akadama. This holds water and slowly breaks down over time.

Cedar trees prefer acidic soil so the addition of the pine bark mulch will add to the acidity while providing some organics to nourish your plant.

Water

During the growing season you will usually be watering your Bonsai daily. Allow the plant to get nearly dry before watering. Do not let it completely dry out. If the leaves turn yellow, it is a sign you are giving your Bonsai too much water.

Temperature and Humidity

Cedars grow naturally in mountainous terrain from the Mediterranean to the Himalayas. This Bonsai will tolerate some cold and moderate heat but does not thrive in high humidity.

Fertilizer

Your Cedar Bonsai will have very little soil. There are little, if any, organics to draw nutrients from, so it is necessary to replenish the trees nutrients occasionally.

Any multi-purpose liquid fertilizer available at your friendly local nursery or garden center can be used for this purpose. For the Cedar Bonsai, remember to dilute the mixture by fifty percent with water before applying and apply every two weeks.

Pruning and Training

The time to do any small pruning is during the spring. You want to use sharp clean scissors to make these cuts.

Never cut needles, but if you want to shape and form needles, pinch off new growth only in the spring as buds appear. Older growth can be carefully pruned in autumn. Cedar is a very slow healer and its bark. though rough looking. is very delicate so great care is needed with this process.

Young branches of the tree can be wired easily and are quite flexible. However, be sure that the wire does not damage the sensitive bark. Older branches should be trained with guywires and not direct wiring. Always use annealed copper wire or anodized aluminum wire when training your tree.


Planting Seeds

To grow from seed, collect cones from deodar cedars before they turn brown. Soak them in warm water for two days to loosen the scales. Allow the cones to dry, then remove the seeds from the scales. The seeds have wings, which you should remove by rubbing them with a dry cloth. After you've processed the seeds, store them at 37 to 41 degrees Fahrenheit for two weeks. Sow the seeds 4 to 6 inches deep either in the spring or fall. If the seeds are dried to a moisture content of less than 10 percent and stored in a sealed container between 23 and 30 F, they will remain viable for three to six years.


This cedar’s name, Deodar, derives from Sanskrit that translates to "timber of the gods." The tree is native to the Himalayas, where it has been known to reach 250' tall. It was introduced to Europe in 1822 and to the United States nine years later.

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Cedar Trees

A native of the Himalayas, deodar cedar is an imposing tree that may grow to heights of 150 feet in the wild, though in cultivation it typically peaks out at about 50 feet. The tree offers rich green, aromatic foliage and broad, spreading branches. Both trees can be grown in containers (so long as the pot has a hole in the bottom for drainage), which helps to inhibit growth. Deodar cultivars include "Pygmy," a mounding dwarf with bluish green foliage, and the weeping "Prostrata," which rarely exceeds a height of 10 feet. Small potted trees can be decorated with ornaments and lights and placed on either side of a doorway for a truly festive, and aromatic, ambience. Those wanting to go the extra mile can plant other Christmas-like plants such as hollies (Ilex spp. ),

  • Water the tree, focusing on the holes you created.
  • The mulch will act as insulation for the roots, and can easily be removed in the spring.

Don't wrap the cedar tree in burlap. This common practice causes more damage than good the wrapping process can easily break and bend the branches. Cedar trees are evergreens, and as such are fully capable of withstanding winter weather conditions.


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Applenut_gw

We have them all over the neighborhood, and its a wonderful, care-free tree. No plumbing problems or surface roots. One quirk is that if the leader snaps off, it rarely forms another and will have a "flat top".

Aquilachrysaetos

Lawn smothering sounds good to me. I don't have a lawn in the back (too 'spensive to keep it green) but I do have trouble with weeds. I'm hoping it will shade out the weeds making a good section of my back yard easier to manage.

I've noticed some silvery looking cultivars. My local nurseryman gets them in regularly.

Aquilachrysaetos

Just an update: I found one in a five gallon at Lowe's.

What a funny fuzzy looking little tree.

Deep___roots

Good. Shouldn't be any trouble to grow. I even have one "bonsaied" into a 13 inch square redwood planting box that sits on my deck. It is maybe 3 feet tall. I wasn't sure how it would do, but even after 5 years it just sits there growing slowly even through blazing sun sometimes. Water once a week is all it needs.
Good luck with yours.

Min3 South S.F. Bay CA

we have 3 on the north side of the house, right BY the house, that must be a hundred feet tall. the original owner came by and told us his dad planted them around 1920. they have been no trouble at all but we got worried because they grew some very heavy branches on the house side and had them thinned out in case a strong wind blew one over. that cost us a bunch of money but we sleep much better now. min

TWEEDY3277_sbcglobal_net

We love our deadora. It is beautiful all year and
keeps our front yard shaded. It sheds in the fall
But is never bare.

Calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Mine reseed generously in my garden and I dig up the seedlings when they are very small. We have a busy highway at the top of our six acres and I have started a row of my Deodar Cedars on the bank of the right of way, as a screen from the highway. Planted in the winter with no further care they all have grown beautifully. The county planted some trees of their own, all of which died in the first year. Of course the county did not plant their trees in the winter. Al

Borderbarb

35 years ago I planted 2 Deodars in my front yard. About 8 years ago, one of them was blown over by an east wind, following very wet season. It blocked a 40 ft road. Thank goodness for sons who come in the middle of night and work free !! The remaining Deodar is tall, stately and beautiful. Passers-by often comment the pleasure they get from that tree . reason enough to plant, if you have room.

Applenut_gw

I planted a pair 8 years ago and they're growing like rockets, 20 feet+ tall now. Beautiful trees with no trouble at all. They are true Cedars, native to the Himilayas, related to the Cedar of Lebanon. I worked some of the wood in my woodshop and about passed out from the cedar oil aroma.

Giant Sequoia also grows very well down in the hot valleys with no troubles.

Peggiewho

I love my deodar but she looks pretty foolish. Mine came with the new house 20 years ago. She has tried to put on multiple tops her whole life. The large limbs droop under the heavy weight. We had one limb flip over another and then grow that way for years until it finally broke off. My tree is a weed in a fortunate spot at the end of the street and the edge of the lawn, dramatic. I would recommend that anyone planting such a large plant to buy a clone, a named plant if available. My two redwoods I planted are perfect specimens. I love my deodar but she is the silliest one I have seen. They may also we water hogs like redwoods, I don't know? Twenty years ago we worried about floods not water meters. Cones are so delicious the squirrels eat them in place.

Calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Deodars do tend to grow double leaders, it is not anything you could have stopped. Most conifers do not do this on their own, but any attempt to top them to contain size will usually cause this, which destroys the conical shape of the tree. Because of the weeping lower branches of the Deodar they will need limbing up several times in their life to be able to walk or garden under them. Many times they are planted too close together which will cause them to grow leaning away from each other. Al

Peggiewho

I cannot tell a Paludosum daisy from a particular weed I have when it is small. The builder specified a deodar cedar but it acts like a big weed. She does lean away from the neighbors trees even though she has the south side. She has never been toped, we wouldn't know where to start pruning her to make it right. It's a large decision to plant such a large tree. Get a good one. We like the sound of the wind through the tree. She loses limbs and drops a lot of needles. All trees are messy, more mulch for me.
We like her
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The light is right to show what goes on behind the needles
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Silliness close up from the back
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