Cedars are a type of juniper tree. These evergreen trees grow in many parts of the world, ranging from near deserts to near bogs, depending on the variety. Cedars can range from sculpted topiaries in manicured gardens to hardy, spindly trees that appear to grow from solid rock faces.
There are many types of cedar trees. Larger trees, like the Atlas cedar, can grow to 60 feet. Lebanon cedars can reach even greater heights, with a top height of around 70 feet. Other cedars can reach similar heights. Other varieties, on the other hand, are much shorter. Some, such as northern white cedar and Oriental arborvitae, are suitable for topiary.
Although China has a number of aromatic cedars, the most common aromatic cedar in North America is the aromatic red cedar or eastern red cedar. Aromatic cedar contains oils that repel pests, such as moths. This type of cedar is generally used on the inside of closets or drawers and is left unfinished. Finishing aromatic cedar can destroy its aromatic properties.
Cedar trees don't require a lot of water once they are established. Once the tree is established, it generally will only require water once a month. Depending on your climate, give your tree 4 to 6 inches of water per watering and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. However, some varieties of cedar also can do well in wet, swampy soils.
Cedar trees are very tolerant of different lighting conditions. Although most varieties will do well in full sun, many also do well in partial or full shade. In some cases, cedars will begin to grow under a forest canopy if the soil conditions change, such as an area becoming more wet and swampy.
Extreme Growing Conditions
Cedars can grow on what appears to be solid rock. Although there are many examples worldwide of a cedar growing on a rock outcropping, the Spirit Little Cedar, called the Witch Tree by European settlers, along the shores of Lake Superior is a good example. The Spirit Little grows on a solid rock face. Its roots extend through cracks in the rocks to soil for water and nutrients. In many places, these trees are considered sacred by the native people.