Cedar of Lebanon

(Cedrus libani)

A historic species
The cedar of Lebanon is the national emblem of Lebanon, and is displayed on its coat of arms. It is also the logo of Middle East Airlines. It symbolizes eternity, strength and endurance. The large forests of Lebanon cedars of ancient days no longer exist. But because of its beauty and history, the Lebanon cedar has been planted throughout the world.

Lebanon cedars grow at elevations of 4,300 to 6,900 feet. They grow best in deep soil on slopes facing the sea. The trees require a lot of light and about 40 inches of rain a year.

The first thing you notice about the Lebanon cedar is the large wide horizontal branches. It can grow 80 feet tall and spread out from 30 to 50 feet wide. It grows very slowly but often lives for centuries. The oldest known cedar of Lebanon is more than 1,000 years old. Its needles are about ½ -1 ½ inches long, stiff, and four-sided, tapering toward their points and grouped in tufts of 30 to 40.

When its needles fall to the ground they don't decay for several years.  This stifles scrub growth, so its understory is often a low undergrowth of grasses.

The cedar of Lebanon is the most cold-tolerant species of cedar. It is very similar to the Atlas Cedar, but has a much thicker trunk and, like the Atlas cedar, it is not suited to street plantings, but makes an exceptional specimen tree.

The cedar of Lebanon prefers well-drained, fertile soil, but can tolerate infertile, dry or alkaline soil and, while it requires full sun, it is intolerant of humidity.


9755 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 210        
Portland, OR 97225        
Phone: 971-673-2944        
Fax: 971-673-2946

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