Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara)
Deodar Cedars reach their mature size after 30 or 40 years in the South. They grow rapidly in areas where conditions are good, with dense, wide spreading branches that droop at the tips when the trees are young. As they mature, their branches stiffen and their shape flattens somewhat, giving it a more asymmetrical profile. In their native regions of the Himalayan Mountains, they grow much bigger than in the United States.
Like all true cedars, deodar cedars have tufted clusters of stiff needles that develop on spurs off the growing stems. Sometimes over 30 needles are bunched together, but on rapidly growing branches needles often grow individually without the wrapping that appears with the bundled needles. Depending on the variety, they may be grayish-green, blue or even silvery and they remain on the tree through the winter. They are 1 1/2 to 2 inches long.
Both male and female flowers appear on the same tree. The male flowers appear as tiny upright cones in tight clusters in late summer. Two or three inches long and about 1/2 inch wide, they shed their pollen in the fall then drop. The larger female flowers appear near the top of the tree, developing into compact upright purplish colored cones 3 to 5 inches long and 2 inches wide. Having a smoother surface than familiar pinecones, these ripen after 2 years and stay on the tree after releasing seeds. They are not usually seen in the United States.
Deodar Cedar Choices
Aurea has golden needles; Kashmir is very hardy; Fastigiata is columnar, branches are more upright; Pendula branches droop to ground, end turn upwards; Shalimar is hardiest, grows in Boston, has blue green needles.