13 Types of Cedar Trees. Benefits, Varieties and Examples!

Types and Benefits of Cedar Trees

Cedar Trees, native to the Himalayas, are widely dispersed in the Mediterranean and many other parts of the world with mild climates. Cedars remain evergreen and the strong scent of a Cedar’s leaves is its most distinguishable quality.

Cedar trees have extending branches and needle-like leaves. A Cedar is also known for its cones that hang from its branches and hold its seeds. Aside from being beautiful, these trees are also beneficial.

Throughout history, Cedars have supported settlements as they have grown and evolved. Cedars are planted in hopes of forest reclamation, breaking strong winds, for economic benefits, and medicinal and spiritual purposes. Hence, there is an imminent need to protect these ancient trees.

Their windbreak capabilities may even be responsible for limiting soil erosion over the past few centuries.

There are actually four main types of True Cedars. Initially, three of these species could only be found in the mountainous region of the Mediterranean Sea; however, these three types of cedars can now also be commonly found in other parts of the world. The fourth type of true Cedar tree grows in the Himalaya Mountains in southern Asia.

There are many different types of Cedar Trees, and we will be discussing the 13 most popular types of Cedars in detail.

It’s also interesting to note that cedarwood, derived from various species of Cedars, also has many sub-types. Cedarwood has aromatic features, making it a popular choice for building homes and the go-to choice for many contractors. It is also used to make various things such as furniture, boat-building, and cigar boxes, to name a few.

Different Types of Cedar Trees

1. Deodar Cedar (Cedrus Deodara)

Deodara Tree Species

The Deodar Cedar derives its name from the Sanskrit word ‘devadaru’, which means the ‘timber of gods’. This type of Cedar is categorised as a coniferous plant renowned for its ‘weeping’ habits.

The Deodar Cedar is also the National Tree of Pakistan and has also been awarded the Garden of Merit from the Royal Horticulture Society.

Despite its popularity, Deodar Cedars can also commonly be found in open spaces such as parks as evident from the picture above. Deodar is also a part of the four true cedar trees.

Deodar Cedar Tree Coniferous needles

These trees have long coniferous needles that range between one to two inches. Deodar Cedars are available in greenish and deep blue colors, contributing to their striking physical appearance and the ability to be easily recognisable. A Deodar Cedar can grow to be as tall as 40 to 50 feet and flourishes in sandy and moist soil. 

Deodar is also one of the 3 primary cedar tree hosts of cedar-apple rust, a contagious fungal disease that can be destructive for both cedars and apple trees. Hence, it is advisable to plant cedar trees and apple trees apart to prevent spread of infection.

2. Cyprian Cedar (Cedrus Brevifolia)

As the name suggests, Cyprian Cedars can be found in areas of Cyprus, Turkey, and Syria. This is one of the most unique species of Cedars and is known for its incredibly tiny leaves. The Cyprian Cedar requires an abundant amount of space to be able to grow. Cyprian is also another one of four true cedar trees.

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The Cyprian Cedar is usually compared to the Cedar of Lebanon as they have many features in common. However, these two types of Cedars also have different physical attributes. For example, as mentioned above, the Cyprian Cedar has small leaves while the Cedar of Lebanon has long, elongated leaves.

3. Eastern Red Cedar (juniperus virginiana or Eastern Juniper tree or pencil cedar)

The Eastern Red Cedar, commonly found in the eastern regions of the United States, can grow to be as tall as 20 to 40 metres and belongs to the Cypress family. On some rare occasions, they can assume a height of 100 metres or more. The wood of the Eastern Red Cedar is renowned for its longevity and versatility, and it is used to make wood flooring and furniture.

The Eastern Red Cedar Tree is known for its robust and woody smell, which is why it is called the ‘Aromatic Cedar’. The wood from the Eastern Red Cedar is used to make a variety of organic oils with various uses. For example, people use these oils to prevent insect infestation by lining drawers, closets, and other pieces of furniture.

As a gardener, you should know that Eastern Redcedar is a terrific selection to your modern landscape design of your garden. However, the species is known to have negative effects on other species in the ecosystem as they over-populate like wildfire.

This dilemma is faced by many gardeners around the world. All we can say is; if you can control it, grow it. The rot-resistant heartwood it yields is well worth the challenge.

Just like Eastern Redcedar, there are many species that are considered cedar trees. However, since they don’t belong to the genus cedrus, they are not considered “true cedar trees”. Hence, many cedar trees including the Eastern and Western Redcedars are considered false cedar trees or faux cedar.

These faux cedar trees are much like the true ones, looking just like ever-green coniferous trees with needle-like leaves.

4. Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata)

The Western Red Cedar, commonly found in the northwestern regions of the United States and Canada, also belongs to the Cypress family (Cupressaceae). So you can technically consider it a cypress tree.

These Cedar trees can grow to be as tall as 200 ft or more. The Western Cedar can persevere through various climates and circumstances and can survive for more than 1,000 years.

Upon crushing the leaves of a Western Red Cedar, you will discover that they have a scent similar to that of a pineapple. The tree also has very dense green foliage. The wood derived from a Western Red Cedar is decay and pest resistant, and it is mostly used for construction purposes.

Redcedar wood is often used for making cedar chest furniture.

5. Bermuda Cedar (Juniperus bermudiana)

Bermudiana Juniperus is native to Bermuda. This species is often referred to as Bermuda juniper. This tree is a juniper native to Bermuda. This cedar forest spanned most of the island, but it was devastated first by people and subsequently by a scale infestation.

More prominent examples of the Bermuda Cedar were known to exist in the past, while today, the Bermuda Cedar is an evergreen tree growing up to 15 m tall with a trunk up to 60 cm thick and a thin bark shed in long strips.

The foliage appears in blue-green sprays, with individual shoots 1.3–1.6 mm broad and four-sided in section.

6. Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica or Glauca Pendula)

Atlas Cedar trees are widely dispersed in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains and exhibit a sluggish to moderate rate of growth. These Cedars have a variety of distinguishable physical attributes, i.e. they have a pyramid-like structure and their trunks usually have a diameter of five to six feet.

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An Atlas Cedar can grow to be as tall as 40 to 60 feet, and it requires an ample amount of space to mature.

In order to grow fully and completely, Atlas Cedars need shade from the sunlight. Atlas Cedars thrive best in damp and well-watered soils, and they can also withstand drought or harsh winds.

However, these Cedars are prone to be infected by pests, so they should frequently be sprayed with pesticides to avoid any infestations.

7. Northern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis)

The Northern White Cedar, commonly found in southeastern parts of Canada and the northeastern parts of the United States, is often referred to as the ‘Abor Vitae’, which means the Tree of Life. The wood of the Northern White Cedar is very fragile and easy to work with. Thus, it can be used to create unique and beautiful pieces of furniture.

The Northern White Cedar, much like other types of Cedars, is resistant to infestations from pests, and it is also free of decay. These two qualities make the Northern White Cedar a leading choice for constructing posts and other outdoor items. Moreover, the Northern White Cedar is easily recognisable because of the creamy sapwood covering the inner area of its wood. 

8. Alaska Cedar (Cupressus nootkatensis)

As the name suggests, the Alaska Cedar is readily available from the Pacific Northwest to Alaska, up until British Columbia. The Alaska Cedar also referred to as the Yellow Cedar produces wood sturdy and dense wood. The wood is known for its striking yellow colour and close-knit rings.

Many construction companies use the Yellow Wood Cedar to build bridges and durable panels. The famous Yellow Cedar Wood is also available in different colours, such as hues of cream and brown.

The tree also has very dense foliage which is dark-green and grows slowly.

9. Port Orford Cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana)

Port Orford Cedar, also known as the white Oregon Cedar, is a tree native to the pacific northwest of the United States. They may reach heights of over 200 feet. In contrast, the sapwood has a white, yellow-brown color. This tree is also highly fragrant.

On somewhat flattened stems, the leaves are scale-like and 3-5 millimetres long, with a white underside. Green at first and becoming brown in early fall (6-8 months after pollination), the seed cones are rounded in shape with a 7-14 millimetres diameter and six to ten scales.

3-5 millimetres long, dark crimson, becoming brown following pollen release in early spring, the male cones are 3-4 millimetres long.

In vertical stripes, the cedar bark is reddish-brown and fibrous to scaly. This tree is cultivated for its wood. They are not a common sight in domestic gardens due to their large size.

10. Spanish Cedar (Cedrela odorata)

The Spanish Cedar is native to the Central and South African regions. The tree’s lightweight nature has made it a top choice for builders, and it is used in various construction plans to build tables, drawers, cabinets, and beautiful centrepieces. This Cedar is also a leading choice for woodworkers, as its pest-resistant qualities can help avoid any such hazards.

It is easy to cut through the various straight-lined areas of a Spanish Cedar by machines. This tree is sustainable, versatile, and easy to maintain, so you can definitely consider investing in one. 

11. Lebanon Cedar (Cedrus libani)

This tree is native to regions in Lebanon and Turkey. Moreover, it is also the National Tree of Lebanon. Due to its popularity, the Lebanon Cedar is also grown in other parts of the world such as Afghanistan and Syria.

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Much like other species of Cedars, this tree also has long leaves, a pyramid-shaped structure and is an evergreen conifer. The Lebanon Cedar can grow to be as tall as 40 meters.

The Lebanon Cedar also has a historical significance. The wood produced by the Lebanon Cedar was used to make buildings in Israel, and according to a few sources, King David utilized the Lebanon Cedar to construct his palaces. Solomon also used the Lebanon Cedar to build temples and palaces.   

12. Eastern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis or Arborvitae)

The Eastern White Cedar has light brown coloured Cedar Wood that is primarily found in the northeastern regions of the United States and the southern regions of Canada. The Eastern White Cedar has a variety of medical and medicinal benefits.

It can be used to treat asthma, cases of miscarriages, and convulsions. However, on the flip side, these trees are more prone to being damaged by pests and unfavorable weather conditions.

13. Incense Cedar (Calocedrus decurrens)

The Incense Cedar is commonly found in parts of the United States such as Oregon, California, and Nevada. The Incense Cedar can grow to be as tall as 75 feet and usually has a base of 15 feet. The bark of an Incense Cedar is a deep maroon colour, and it has bright green needles.

The Incense Cedar has the ability to survive in harsh weather conditions and poor-quality soils. Moreover, it does not need to be watered frequently.

Benefits of Cedar Trees

Types of Cedar Trees

Cedars trees positively impact and contribute towards the environment we live in. Here are some benefits of Cedars:

1. Recreation and Scenery: Cedar trees are a marvel of nature and often provide a beautiful spot for relaxation. 

2. Biodiversity: The different species of Cedars are home to a plethora of plants, animals, and insects. The way they serve as habitat to many organisms, allows for incredible biodiversity around them.

3. Soil and Water: Cedars take up vast spaces of land while maturing, and once they are fully mature, this helps prevent soil erosion. Cedar forests can collect rainfall into their leaves and branches, which is ultimately absorbed into the ground and disperses back into the atmosphere.

4. Clean Air: The very existence of Cedars contributes to the betterment of air quality and helps reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. 

Advantages of Using Cedar Wood

There are many advantages of using Cedar Wood, and it can be utilized in many log projects. The following are some benefits of Cedar Wood:

1. Cedar is durable.

Cedar grows well in moist climates, which means it has the ability to survive in unfavourable different weather conditions.

Even when the weather is harsh, Cedar does not shrink, swell up, or degrade in quality, making it an excellent choice for building exterior siding. It’s durability has allowed it to become the go-to material for making “cedar chests”.

2. Cedar is an excellent insect repellent.

Cedar Wood oil is able to terminate pests such as mosquitoes, ants, and cockroaches.

3. Cedar is beautiful.

Different types of Cedar have unique colour combinations which only need to be magnified and not altered.

You can easily enhance the durability and longevity of Cedar Wood by finishing it, and applying sealer can help maintain its natural color. 

4. Cedar is sound repellent.

Cedar has the ability to absorb noise because it is a porous wood. For this reason, Cedar Wood is used on the exterior and interior of homes and other buildings. 

Now do me favor, and plant a cedar tree near your home!

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