Western Red Cedar ( Cedrus atlantica ) Tree Seeds
Important Note: The seeds on this page will benefit greatly from using the CAPE Smoke Seed Germination Primer that we use in our own greenhouses. We find we receive significantly better germination results when we use this primer on these types of seeds.
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Photos and cultural info courtesy of Floridata.com
D7886 Western Red Cedar Cedrus atlantica
Atlas cedar is a large and majestic evergreen conifer that can get as tall as 120' and have a spread of 100'. More commonly, and especially in the US, it is 40-60' tall and 20-40' wide. The tree is neatly cone shaped in youth, becoming more open and spreading with a flat top as it ages. The bark is silvery gray and fissured. The stiff, needlelike leaves are bluish green, less than an inch long, and clustered in tufts on short lateral spurs. The egg shaped cones are 3" long, green while developing and brown when mature. When ripe they shatter to release papery winged seeds.
Location: Atlas cedar is native to the Atlas Mountains of
Morocco and Algeria in northern Africa.
Atlas cedar does well in sandy to clayey, and acidic to alkaline soils. It grows fast and upward for the first 10-20 years, then as the central leader loses dominance, growth slows and the crown spreads. In young trees, lateral branches may have to be pruned back to keep them from breaking under their own weight. Never prune the central leader, though.
Light: Full sun or partial shade.
Moisture: Drought tolerant once established.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 - 9.
Atlas cedar is an imperial and picturesque specimen tree with massive, horizontal-spreading branches. It is long lived and needs lots of space and should never be used as anything but a specimen. Atlas cedar is tolerant of hot, humid weather and may be a better choice in the south than deodar cedar (C. deodara) which sometimes dies back from the top.
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