The Cedar varies greatly – no tree more
so – in height and general outline, according
to situation and environment, and though well-grown
trees in this country may be stated as from fifty
to eighty feet, we have examples of one hundred
and one hundred and twenty feet where the conditions
have been specially favourable. But the Cedar,
as usually seen on lawns and in parks, has a low,
rounded, or flattened top, the great spreading
arms having grown more rapidly than the trunk.
Thus grown, the huge bole has seldom any great
length, throwing out these timber branches at
from six to ten feet from the ground, and immediately
afterwards the trunk is divided into several stems.
From these the main branches take a curving direction,
at first ascending, but the part farthest from
the trunk becoming almost horizontal. It is chiefly
at the extremity of the branches that the branchlets
and leaves are produced.
The evergreen leaves last for three, four or five
years, and are needle-shaped, varying about an
inch in length. They are produced in tufts that
are arranged spirally round dwarf shoots, mostly
on the upper side of the branchlets.
The male flowers are to be found at the extremity
of branchlets which, though six or seven years
old, are very short, their development having
The solid, purple-brown cones are only three or
four inches long, broad-topped, and with a diameter
of half the length; the scales thin and closely
pressed together; they are at first greyish-green,
tinged with pink. The development and maturity
of these cones take two or three seasons, and
they remain on the tree for several years longer.
The seeds are angular, with a wedge-shaped wing.
The trees do not produce cones until they are
from twenty-five to thirty years old; but they
may be a hundred years old before producing either
male or female flowers.
The trunk is covered with thick, rough, deeply
fissured bark is smooth, and peels off in thin
The Cedar, in its native habitat, produces admirable
timber, but that of trees grown in this country
is described as reddish-white, light and spongy,
easily worked, but very apt to shrink and warp,
and by no means durable. For these reasons the
tree is grown almost solely for ornament.