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The Indian Cedar or Deodar

UK Garden Centre - Information about the Indian Cedar or Deodar tree

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Family Pinaceae
Cedrus Deodara

Although the differences between the Cedar of Lebanon and the Deodar are really slight, they are sufficient at once to strike the ordinary observer. In proportion to the height of the trunk, for example, the main branches are much shorter, the result being a more regular pyramidal outline, terminating in a light spire. The terminal shoots of the branches are longer, more slender, and quite pendulous. There is no necessity, therefore, for repeating the particulars already given respecting the Cedar of Lebanon, which apply to the Deodar with such modifications as are indicated above.
The headquarters of the Deodar are in the mountains of northwest India, where it forms forests at various altitudes above 3,500 feet. Its vertical distribution extends to a height of 12,000 feet, but its principal habitat lies between 6,000 and 10,000 feet.
Deodar timber produced in its native forests is exceedingly durable, being compact and even grained, not liable to warp or split and standing the test of being alternately wet and dry.
It is to the Hon. W. L. Melville that we are indebted for the introduction of the Deodar to Britain in 1831, and during the next ten years many young trees were raised here from seeds. Favourably impressed by the rapidity of growth of these seedlings, large numbers of Deodar seeds were imported and distributed by the government, and high estimates were formed of the future value of these trees. But in framing these estimates one important factor was omitted – the uncertainty of the British climate, with its rapid changes. A score or two of years served to demonstrate that such conditions were opposed to the longevity and uniform development that produced sound timber on the Indian mountains. In spite of this failure, there are to be seen in many parts of these islands fine young Deodars of forty or fifty years, and from fifty to seventy feet in height.


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