What Is A Cedar Pine: Tips On Planting Cedar Pine Hedges

By: Teo Spengler

Cedar pine (Pinus glabra) is a tough, attractive evergreen that doesn’t grow into a cookie-cutter Christmas tree shape. Its many branches form a bushy, irregular canopy of soft, dark green needles and the shape of each tree is unique. The branches grow low enough on the trunk of the cedar pine to make this tree an excellent choice for a wind row or tall hedgerow. If you are thinking of planting cedar pine hedges, read on for additional cedar pine tree information.

Cedar Pine Facts

It is not surprising if you ask “What is a cedar pine?” Although it is a North American native tree, it is one of the least-seen pines in this country. Cedar pine is an attractive pine with an open crown. The tree grows to over 100 feet (30 cm.) in the wild with a diameter of 4 feet (1 cm.). But in cultivation, it often stays considerably shorter.

The species is also known as spruce pine because of the texture of the bark of a mature tree. Young trees have grayish bark, but over time they develop rounded ridges and scales like spruce trees, turning a deep shade of reddish brown.

Additional Cedar Pine Tree Information

The needles on the cedar pine grow in bundles of two. They are slender, soft and twisted, usually a dark green but occasionally slightly gray. Needles remain on the tree for up to three seasons.

Once the trees are about 10 years old, they begin producing seeds. Seeds grow in reddish-brown cones that are shaped like eggs and bear small thorny prickles on the tips. They remain on the trees for up to four years, providing a valuable source of food for wildlife.

Cedar pines grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 through 9. The trees are tolerant of shade and stress and grows best in moist, sandy soils. Appropriately planted, they can live to 80 years.

Planting Cedar Pine Hedges

If you read up on cedar pine facts, you will find that these trees have many qualities that make them excellent choices for hedges or windbreaks. They are slow growers, and generally anchored well into the ground with long tap roots.

A cedar pine hedge will be attractive, strong and long lived. It will not provide a uniformly-shaped line of pine trees for a hedge, as the branches create irregular crowns. However, the branches on cedar pines grow lower than many other species, and their strong roots stand up to wind.

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Deodar Cedar Plant Profile

The Deodar cedar (Cedrus deodara) is an evergreen conifer tree that is favored for its weeping habit (gracefully drooping branches). It is often used as a specimen tree in parks and other large gardens and can also be used to line streets. This species is the national tree in Pakistan, and it has garnered the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society. Each needle on this conifer is 1 to 2 inches long and can be bluish-green or grayish-green depending on the cultivar. They are produced in whorls of 20 to 30 needles. They also appear individually on long shoots.

Cedrus deodara is one of the true cedars. Other true cedars include the cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) and the Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica), which comes in a weeping form. It is in the Pinaceae family, which includes both evergreen and deciduous conifers such as pine trees, spruce trees, and fir trees. The name deodar evolved from the word devadāru, which is a Sanskrit word that translates to "timber of the gods." This tree is sacred in Hinduism.

Botanical Name Cedrus deodara
Common Name Deodar Cedar, Himalayan Cedar
Plant Type Evergreen coniferous tree
Mature Size 40 to 70 feet tall, 20 to 40 feet wide
Sun Exposure Full sun
Soil Type Loamy, moist, sandy, clay, well-drained
Soil pH Slightly acidic (adapts to neutral and slightly alkaline soils)
Bloom Time Non-flowering
Flower Color Non-flowering
Hardiness Zones 7 to 9 (USDA)
Native Area Western Himalayas

Scientific Classification

SectionJuniperus sect. Sabina
Scientific NameJuniperus virginiana


Look at the range maps of pines and you will discover that many types of pine trees have a large geographic distribution. These include species such as Ponderosa pine, jack pine, lodgepole pine, shortleaf pine and loblolly pine. Other pines grow in much smaller areas, with some like the foxtail pine and the bishop pine found only in specific parts of the West. Ponderosa pine has the largest range of an American pine, extending from Canada southward well into Mexico and covering vast parts of the western states.

  • To identify pines it is important to examine such facets of the tree as its needles, cones and bark.
  • The thick bark is a brown-black when the tree is mature, possesses a vanilla aroma when you peel it away and is full of furrows.

Pine trees are a very important genus of trees in terms of their uses. Lumber and pulpwood are vital pine products, and pines are instrumental as telephone poles and in furniture. You may opt to plant pines on your property as windbreaks, specimen trees or as a tree to form a buffer between your property and a busy roadway. Pine trees are popular Christmas trees in many parts of the country, with the Virginia pine, Eastern white pine and Scotch pine all possessing traits that make them usable for this purpose.

Tight Budget

Cedar mulch is slightly more expensive than some other products, so you might need to choose another option if you have to watch the pennies. However, the price difference is not huge, and the benefits of longer-lasting, pest-repellant mulch may outweigh the minimal extra cost.

Pamela Martin has been writing since 1979. She has written newsletter articles and curricula-related materials. She also writes about teaching and crafts. Martin was an American Society of Newspaper Editors High School Journalism Fellow. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching in elementary education from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Arts in curriculum/instruction from the University of Missouri.

Watch for Pests, Diseases, and Poor Nutrition

The first few years are especially critical for establishing a healthy tree. Watch for signs of poor health such as:

  • Yellow leaves
  • Wilting foliage
  • Holes in bark, branches, or leaves
  • Oozing sap

If you see these or any other indications of poor health, take steps to remedy the problem as soon as possible. You can contact your local extension office if you need help in diagnosing what is wrong.

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