Cedrus libani

Cedrus libani

Cedar of Lebanon


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SKU: 411411


Family Pinaceae
Originating from Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey.

  • Elegant and serene large growing, or pruned oriental style specimen tree.
  • Tiered branches form soft-looking sprays of evergreen needles, bearing masses of upright cones.
  • Very hardy and easy to grow, even pruned to a dwarf size in pots, in any soil in full sun.

Stately and elegant with unmistakable tiers of foliage serenely spreading wide. Although familiar as a large tree it is not so well known as a fantastic specimen for Niwaki, the Japanese art of shaping trees growing in the ground. Its hardiness, architectural presence, and adaptability makes it an essential garden plant for any size of garden. Its outstanding horticultural qualities are matched by its historical background; it is the oldest species in cultivation and is the most talked about tree in the Bible, it has a sacred status in many cultures, its aromatic oils are revered. 

For a plant with such pedigree and outstanding looks; making a display of gracefully ascending boughs bearing a verdant and soft, show-stopping display of fresh green needles in spring, surely is a highly desirable addition to any garden. The incredibly lush and bright colour of the new season’s foliage, borne in undulating soft sprays on the gently downswept smaller branches, is as spectacular as any floral display. It is accompanied by multitudes of male pollen cones, tan-coloured and standing upright on the branches, followed by bright jade green young seed cones that mature through light tan to dark brown, before drying and opening to disperse their seeds.

This wonderful species is often overlooked, due to its potential to grow to epic proportions. It is a shame because its many qualities are accessible to any gardener if simple pruning techniques are employed. Like most conifers the Cedar of Lebanon produces a strong leader; the dominant shoot at the tip of a young plant’s conical shape. If this is removed the plant puts its energy into horizontal growth, eventually forming another single, or several new leaders which can also be removed, or left to develop for a season or two and then reduced. Lower branches, which may sweep down to the ground, can also be removed to reveal its trunk, which on specimens pruned for many years, can thicken to develop mature bark, evoking an ancient tree in miniature. Horizontal growth can also be tip-pruned, making the plant fully adaptable to any space available, even growing in pots.

Our gallery photos illustrate the range of possibilities for growing this spectacular tree, from fully bonsai-trained plants under a metre tall to a roughly 6m tall 20 – 30-year-old plant that has had its leader removed, growing over a hedge in a Gloucestershire garden. 

Cedars of Lebanon pruned in a Niwaki style add a tranquil quality to oriental-style gardens planted with Acer palmatum ‘Orange Dream’, Decaisnea fargesii or Pinus thunbergii ‘Banshosho’. If its lower branches are removed it can make a wide spreading canopy over moss-covered stones and Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’, Ophiopogon planiscapus or Asplenium scolopendrium. It is also ideally suited to contemporary gardens where its textural and architectural qualities excel planted alongside Frangular alnus ‘Fine Line’, topiaried Pittosporum tobira, and Pittosporum ‘Beach Ball’.

Very hardy and easy to grow in any soil in full sun and in pots. 

Height and spread after 20 – 50 years if not pruned 15m x 10 m. 


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Urban Jungle Suffolk

London Road, Weston,
Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 8TT
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Garden Centre Telephone: 01502 219110
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Urban Jungle Norfolk

Ringland Lane, Old Costessey,
Norwich, Norfolk NR8 5BG
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Nursery 10am to 5pm. March-October
10am to 4pm or dusk if earlier. November-February
Café 10am to 4pm. March-October
10am to 3pm. November-February
Garden Centre Telephone: 01603 744997
Cafe Telephone: 01603 857196

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