Blue Atlas Cedar
Cedrus libani atlantica glauca - Blue Atlas Cedar
Family - Pinaceae
Size - To approximately 40 to 50 feet by equal or slightly greater spread. Fast growing when young, 2 feet or more per year. Shape is pyramidal when young, becoming flat topped with horizontal spreading branching when older. Has very beautiful form giving it and all of the other Cedrus, unmatched distinction.
Foliage - Needle like, somewhat stiff. Powder blue, somewhat silver, in color. Intensity of blue varies among seedlings.
Flower/Fruit/Seed - Cones, 3" long, green when young turning brown at maturity. Contrasts nicely with the blue foliage.
Bark - Dark gray, ridged on older trees. Light gray and smooth on younger trees.
Pests and Diseases - None noticed yet, but potential root rots and tip blight.
Landscape Use - Definite specimen use, particularly for the large property where it is allowed to develop. Should not be incorporated with little beds. This tree makes a statemant by itself, and in old age can be a breathtaking sight. I take particular routes in town just to see the few 75 to 100 year old, mature Blue Atlas Cedars which exist. While in Portland, Oregon I noticed a considerable number of Blue Atlas being used as urban trees downtown. They appeared to be 25 to 30 years old and were holding up quite well. The Hoyt Arboretum has some beautiful Atlas and Blue Atlas specimens. This tree has a distinction which few other trees can rival. There are several cultivars; 'Fastigiata' is an upright narrow form, 'Aurea' is a form with gold needles looking very similiar to C. deodara 'Aurea'.
Performance - 9 Does well throughout the south. Is somewhat sensitive to cold and generally has problems further north of Zone 6. Living in the south has it's advantages and the Blue Atlas is one of them.
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