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Calocedrus decurrens

Pronunciation: Kal-oh-see-drus deck-er-renz
Family: Cupressaceae (cypress family)
Synonym: Heyderia decurrens, libocedrus decurrens
Common Name: Incense cedar, incensecedar
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 30-50'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Description: The bark is light reddish brown and scaly; in large trees it is fibrous with deep furrows. The branches are flattened, and they branch into flat vertical fanlike sprays of pleasantly aromatic foliage. The mature leaves are like flat overlapping scales, a quarter-inch long, and closely pressed against the branchlets. Juvenile leaves on new leader shoots are more elongate, to 1/2 in (1. 3 cm) long. Male and female cones are small and inconspicuous, and borne on different branches of the same tree
Propagation: Incense cedar is difficult, but not impossible, to propagate from cuttings. They usually are propagated by seed which requires a period of cold stratification.
Native to: Incense cedar is native to the cascade mountains of oregon, and the sierra nevada of california, extending into baja california. They usually occur on slopes from 2000 to 8000 ft (610-915 m) above sea level in the company of various fir and pine species. There are only three species of calocedrus and the other two occur in china.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - the generic name means "beautiful cedar", and that it is. The tall, columnar incense cedar is a handsome specimen for framing a formal landscape. A line of them, like soldiers at attention, adds a formal dimension to driveways and makes a great windbreak or tall screen. The shape of the crown of incense cedar, like other members of the cupressaceae, varies with the climate in which it is grown. Where summers are warm and moderately wet, and winters are cool or cold and relatively dry, the tree develops its most extreme columnar shape. In mediterranean type climates, where summers are hot and dry, and winters are either cold or warm, but wet, it develops a broad, more open crown. The habit is intermediate in climates like that of the eastern u. S. , with hot, humid summers and very cold winter. Care: incense cedar does best on well-drained, slightly acidic sandy loams in cool, mountainous areas. Outside its natural range it tends to stay smaller and bushier. Even under ideal conditions, incense cedar is a slow growing tree. But, it can live 1000 years or more. Incense cedar needs lots of moisture to realize its full potential as a large tree. If it gets less water than ideal it will survive, but remain as a smaller, bushy, but still attractive specimen.
USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • Less then 1 day ZONE 1
  • 1 to 7 days ZONE 2
  • 7 to 14 days ZONE 3
  • 14 to 30 days ZONE 4
  • 30 to 45 days ZONE 5
  • 45 to 60 days ZONE 6
  • 60 to 90 days ZONE 7
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8
Seed photo: 1
Seed Label: 0
Located in: Seed Photos
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