Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca Pendula': Weeping Atlas Cedar1

Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson 2

Introduction

A handsome evergreen for specimen planting where it will not be crowded since the tree looks its best when branches are left on the tree to the ground. This shows off the wonderful weeping form with lower branches spreading about half the height. Spread, height and tree form is somewhat dependant on how the tree was trained. It can probably reach 30 to 40 feet tall if it was staked. Allow plenty of room for branches to spread. The tree is best located as a lawn specimen away from walks, streets, and sidewalks so branches will not have to be pruned. It looks odd if lower branches are removed. Older trees become flat-topped and are a beautiful sight to behold.

Figure 1. Young Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca Pendula': Weeping Atlas Cedar
Figure 1.  Young Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca Pendula': Weeping Atlas Cedar
Credit: Ed Gilman

General Information

Scientific name: Cedrus atlantica
Pronunciation: SEE-drus at-LAN-tih-kuh
Common name(s): Weeping atlas cedar
Family: Pinaceae
USDA hardiness zones: 6A through 8B (Fig. 2)
Origin: not native to North America
Invasive potential: little invasive potential
Uses: specimen; bonsai
Availability: not native to North America

Figure 2. Range
Figure 2.  Range

Description

Height: 10 to 15 feet
Spread: 6 to 10 feet
Crown uniformity: irregular
Crown shape: weeping
Crown density: moderate
Growth rate: moderate
Texture: fine

Foliage

Leaf arrangement: spiral (Fig. 3)
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: entire
Leaf shape: needle-like (filiform)
Leaf venation: parallel
Leaf type and persistence: needled evergreen, evergreen
Leaf blade length: less than 2 inches
Leaf color: blue or blue-green, green
Fall color: no color change
Fall characteristic: not showy

Figure 3. Foliage
Figure 3.  Foliage

Flower

Flower color: unknown
Flower characteristics: not showy

Fruit

Fruit shape: oval, cone
Fruit length: 3 to 6 inches
Fruit covering: dry or hard
Fruit color: brown
Fruit characteristics: does not attract wildlife; showy; fruit/leaves not a litter problem

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: branches droop; not showy; typically one trunk; thorns
Pruning requirement: needed for strong structure
Breakage: resistant
Current year twig color: green, brown
Current year twig thickness: medium
Wood specific gravity: unknown

Culture

Light requirement: full sun, partial sun, or partial shade
Soil tolerances: clay; sand; loam; slightly alkaline; acidic; well-drained
Drought tolerance: high
Aerosol salt tolerance: moderate

Other

Roots: not a problem
Winter interest: no
Outstanding tree: yes
Ozone sensitivity: unknown
Verticillium wilt susceptibility: resistant
Pest resistance: free of serious pests and diseases

Use and Management

Difficult to transplant, it should be moved as a container plant. Soil preference is for well-drained deep loam, on the acid side, but it can tolerate sandy or clay soils, if they are well-drained. The tree looks its best when it sheltered from strong wind. The tree looks its best when sheltered from strong winds but tolerates open conditions, and will grow in full sun or partial shade. Allow for plenty of soil space around the tree since growth will be poor in restricted soil space. Tolerates extensive drought only when grown in an area where roots can explore a large soil area. Performs well in all areas within its hardiness range. It is suitable in zone 9 in California and perhaps in Florida.

Cultivars: Two other especially desirable cultivars are Cedrus atlantica 'Pendula', a weeping form, and Cedrus atlantica 'Argentea', having beautiful silver-blue foliage.

Pests

Generally free of insect pests and resistant to diseases, they may occasionally fall prey to tip blight, root rots or black scale and the Deodar weevil. Usually no pest protection or control is necessary.

Sap-suckers are attracted to the trunk and often riddle it with small holes. This usually does little lasting harm to the tree.

Footnotes

1. This document is ENH291, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 1993. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.
2. Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; Dennis G. Watson, former associate professor, Agricultural Engineering Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville FL 32611.

Publication #ENH291

Date: 2014-06-11
Southern Trees Fact Sheets

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Contacts

  • Michael Andreu