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Calocedrus decurrens - Incense Cedar

At this time of year there are a few trees which really stand out on the nursery and one of these is Calocedrus decurrens.

This beautiful conifer is native to western North America, but grows fabulously well on almost all soils in the UK. In its native environment, they can grow to 60m and have a broad crown but in the cooler climes of the UK, you would expect an ultimate height of 30-35m and it develops a much more fastigiate form.

Its rich, glossy, green foliage is made up of small scale like leaves which form a flattened spray. The exquisite flaking bark and columnar habit make it an unmistakable tree.

It is perfect grown either as a single specimen, or in an avenue. It can also be a great tree for providing dense, low maintenance, evergreen screening where space is limited.

FACT: In America, Calocedrus is also a breeding ground for cedar wood wasp, a rarely seen insect also known as a ‘living fossil’. In the aftermath of forest fires, they lay their eggs inside the freshly burnt trees where the larvae develop.

Plant Profile

Name: Calocedrus decurrens

Common Name: Incense Cedar

Family: Cupressaceae

Height: 30-35m in the UK

Demands: Will grow in most conditions including drought and shade.

Foliage: Glossy, green foliage in flattened, fan shaped sprays

Fruit: Small cones, green when young and ripening to brown and releasing two winged seeds.

Bark: Orange - brown bark weathers to grey and flakes with age, often in long strips.

Calocedrus decurrens info sheet

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