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Atlas Cedar

My latest Christmas tree recommendation.


Common names: Atlas cedar

Family: Pinaceae

Botanical name:  Cedrus atlantica


Form: Distinctive open upright growth when young. Medium sized mature tree to 40 to 60 feet in height, broadly pyramidal crown, develops into a stunning flat-topped tree with horizontal branching.


Foliage: Evergreen needles, blue-green to silvery blue, generally under 1 inch long, occur singly on new growth, but tightly whorled on spur shoots.


Flowers: Species is monoecious; male cones 2-3 inches long on lower part of tree; female cones thicker and erect, purplish, borne on top sections of tree.


Fruit: Short, stout upright cones with deciduous scales, 2 1/2 to 3 inches long, 2 inches wide, waxy purplish green while developing, turning brown at maturity, mature over two years.


Twigs: Slender, finely hairy, brown with numerous spur shoots, branches droop with age.


Bark: Initially smooth and gray, later darkening and developing fine flat scales.


Management: Relatively easy to grow in a wide range of soils.


Notes: Makes a interesting living Christmas tree.


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