Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
James H. Schutte
The leaves of this beautiful, upright conifer are so fragrant when crushed it is known as the incense cedar. The species is native to mountain ranges from central Oregon to Baja California where winters are wet and summers dry. However, the species is adapted to sites from sea level to high desert so long as ample winter moisture is available. This round-topped tree features layers of flat branchlets with scale-like leaves that are dense and attractive year around. The bark is rough, dark brown and aromatic.
Though its flowers are insignificant, the tree develops bunches of paired seed capsules at the tips of the branchlets, weighing them down at maturity. The seed is vital to many forms of wildlife in its home range. Incense cedar is often used in the landscape as is coast redwood because their forms are quite similar, except this tree is much slower growing and far more cold hardy. Supplemental water is recommended in early years to encourage an extensive root zone that will provide drought resistance as the tree matures. While it makes a fine residential tree, incense cedar will eventually outgrow most sites except for larger parks, civic plantings and estates.
8 - 1
5 - 8
1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
70'-130' / 21.3m - 39.6m
6'-28' / 1.8m - 8.5m
Western United States, California, Mexico
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Screening / Wind Break, Shade Trees, Street Trees
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