There’s a feeling you get when you find the perfect evergreen -- whether it’s for a focal point in your landscape or a holiday tree to decorate. You can almost picture it draped with sparkling lights or highlighted with snowflakes.
The deodar cedar tree may just be one of those evergreens. It's gracefully drooping branches that come in that conical shape are not only stately and organized, but also elegant.
Its name evolves from the word devadaru, which is Sanskrit for “timber of the gods.” And that’s not only in reference to its gracious aesthetics. This tree’s wood has supported the structures of temples or palaces in places like India and Afghanistan. The Egyptians even used deodar cedar wood to build sarcophaguses for their mummies.
Looking for one of these trees to add some majesty to your home landscape? Here is how to identify and care for deodar cedar trees.
The deodar cedar tree is well-known for its widespread swooping branches. Young trees begin in pyramidal shapes and then, as they mature, their branches become broader and more horizontal with flat tops. In fact, these cedar branches can spread approximately 10 to 15 feet outwards from the trunk.
In their native habitat, these trees can grow to be 150 feet tall, growing approximately 3 feet a year. But in the landscape, they can normally reach 20 to 50 feet tall.
How long do deodar cedar trees live? They can live to be hundreds of years old.
Looking more closely at the deodar tree needles, you’ll find they are 1 to 2 inches long, blue-green to gray-green, and fine to the touch. This greenish-silver foliage can make an attractive privacy screen.
These needles remain on the tree for three to six years before being replaced by new ones.
If you’re using the cones from a deodar tree to help you identify it, you’ll find both male and female cones.
The male cones are usually found on the tree’s lower branches, and they give off pollen in autumn. Female cones grow at the tips of upper branches, and the wind brings the male’s pollen to them for pollination. Those pollinated female cones grow in spring and summer. Green cones become brown as they mature, reaching 3 to 6 inches long. Every scale on the cones has two seeds, which are released when they are mature -- after about 12 to 13 months. Then the seeds germinate and grow in late spring after overwintering in the soil.
If you take a look at a deodar cedar tree’s bark, you’ll find it’s dark gray, becoming more scaled as it ages.
Mature trees have thick trunks measuring 3 meters (need to be consistent with measures, earlier with the height you used feet) in diameter.
There are many deodar tree wood uses. Not only is the wood used in carpentry because it has a grain that polishes well, but it has been used for building bridges and even making pencils.
The deodar tree also has medicinal uses. Its wood, resin, and bark are reported to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
When it comes to insects, you can sometimes find aphids on deodar cedar trees, though infestations don’t typically impact trees enough to injure them. The aphids do produce a substance called honeydew that falls to the nearby areas, making everything a bit sticky. You may want to reach out to your local arborist to help you take care of any pests should an infestation occur.
If the soil is soggy and doesn’t drain well, root rot can also occur. Planting this tree in the right place can help it live a long and healthy life.