Cedrus deodara / Deodar cedar

Cedrus deodara, Deodar cedarWoody plant expert Michael Dirr calls this the “most graceful cedar” and I’m not surprised — it has graceful, sweeping branches, a pyramidal shape and good branch density. Walk carefully by it, though, because its long, blue-green needles are sharp.

Deodars start out dense and become wider and more open and artistic with age, eventually losing their lower branches. Notice their ultimate width — as much as 25 feet — and give yours enough room.

Thankfully, many smaller selections more suitable to the garden are available, some as sort as 1-foot-tall — great for alpine gardens.

Indigenous from Afghanistan to the Western Himalayas.

Photo credit: ArborDay.net


  • Moderate grower (2 feet per year) to 40-70 feet by 25 feet wide.
  • Deer-resistant.
  • Extremely adaptable to different soils, even high and dry conditions
  • Hardy to either Zone 6 (some sources) to 7 (the Arbor Day site) so I’m worried about losing mine in a cold snap.