How to Grow Incense Cedar Trees


The incense cedar tree is native to North America. It is a columnar tree that grows to between 70 and 100 feet tall with a spread of between 8 and 12 feet. These trees can live a long time. Some California incense cedars are between 500 and 1,000 years old. Useful as a screen, hedge, or specimen tree, the incense cedar is suited to cultivation in United States Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 5a through 8b. It is very tolerant of different light conditions. It will grow in sun, partial sun or shade. It will grow in most soils, as long as they drain well. It is both drought and salt tolerant.

Step 1

Remove the young tree from its nursery pot.

Step 2

Spread the roots out as much as possible to examine their size.

Step 3

Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball (with roots spread out).

Step 4

Place the young nursery tree in the hole.

Step 5

Backfill the hole. Tamp the soil down as you fill to reduce settling.

Step 6

Once the hole is filled, mulch around the tree. The mulch will help reduce weeds and help the soil retain water while the roots become established.

Step 7

Water your tree with 1 or 2 inches of water per week until established. Once established, this tree is very drought tolerant. However, it will do better with adequate water.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Mulch


  • University of Florida: California incense cedar
Keywords: planting cedar trees, cedar tree cultivation, growing cedars

About this Author

Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.