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Calocedrus decurrens
Calocedrus decurrens

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Zone
Zones 2-12, 14-24, 32, 34, 36, 37
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Minimal Water
Minimal

Calocedrus decurrens

Incense Cedar
Cupressaceae
Evergreen, Trees

Native to the mountains of central and southern Oregon, California, western Nevada; also to northern Baja California. Unlike most of its native associates—white fir, Douglas fir, sugar pine—it adapts to many other Western climates.

Symmetrical tree to 75–90 ft. tall with dense, narrow, pyramidal crown; give it room for a 10–15-ft. spread at base. Reddish brown bark on trunk. Rich green foliage in flat sprays. Tree gives pungent fragrance to gardens in warm weather. Bears small, yellowish brown to reddish brown cones that, when open, resemble ducks’ bills.

Although slow growing at first, it may grow 2 ft. per year when established. Takes blazing summer heat and tolerates poor soils. No supplemental water needed in Zones 2, 4–7, 15–17; give moderate water elsewhere. Good tree to make a green wall, high screen, windbreak. No pruning required.

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