The majestic deodar cedar, affectionately known as "California Christmas tree," has charm with its sensuous, weeping branchlets and soft, touchable foliage. Native to the Himalayas, this pine family member is just as comfortable planted in moderately mild American climates.

Description of deodar cedar: This cedar is distinguished from other conifers by its larchlike needles, a curious arrangement of dense bunches. Its display includes fragrant wood, downy twigs, and graceful, spreading branches, which are among the most elegant of evergreens. It has longer leaves than other cedars and grows up to 70 feet in cultivation, but much more in the wild.

How to grow deodar cedar: The deodar cedar will thrive in average garden soil in zones 7 and 8. Avoid wind-ravaged and soggy sites. To avoid transplant shock, plant balled-and-burlapped or from a nursery container. Give this large evergreen plenty of room to grow. Pests and diseases are minimal.

Uses for deodar cedar: Use as a specimen tree, or plant a trio of these wide-spreaders for screening.

Deodar cedar related species: C. Atlantica is a stiffer tree with a wide crown. 'Glauca' has blue-gray needles.

Deodar cedar related varieties: Hardy varieties include 'Shalimar' and 'Kashmir.'

Scientific name for deodar cedar: Cedrus deodara

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