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C O M M O N  N A M E : Blue Atlas Cedar
O R I G I N :  Atlas Mountains of North Africa; Morocco, Algeria
F A M I L Y : Pinaceae
Z O N E :  6 to 9
T Y P E :  Needled evergreen
H E I G H T :  avg. 40 to 60'
S U N :  Full sun
S O I L : Well-drained, acidic loams
M O I S T U R E : Medium
 

T A G S : cultivar, monecious, gynosperm, filiform, ancient Egypt, fragrant, specimen, silver, conical, conifer, blue-green, pyramidal, irregular-shaped, bonsai, parks


D E S C R I P T I O N 

When you come across the Blue Atlas Cedar in the landscape, there are several character traits to look for: patchy, wispy and upturned branches; the silvery, minty, blue-green tint of its needles give it a frosted appearance. Its structure in maturity is open, and irregularly-shaped with a flatter crown. The girth (a spread of 25 to 40') and height of it, allows for these Cedars to be well-suited for parks, larger gardens, the university campus, a cemetery. It is innately majestic and ornamental in its exhibition. 

F O L I A G E    &   C O N E

Each floret of needles of the Blue Atlas are like small, powdery blue bursts on the branch - the needles themselves are less than 2' in length. The form of the leaf/needle is simple, tightly whorled and has a spiral arrangement. The margin is entire and the venation parallel.

The 1/2 to 3" male cone bears distinct a light, caramel-toned and upright position that often situates itself in rows. The male cones diffuse yellow pollen in the fall. A swift shake of a branch will emit a thin yet very visible soft cloud of pollen. The female cone emerges in the tree's maturity and has a purplish-brown tint. 

T R U N K 

A fissured, pockety and scaled bark takes form as the tree ages. The tint remains light grey or greyed-out brown. The branching is horizontal and uniquely tiered. Although it has a noticeable fragrance, it rarely attracts pests but carries some susceptibility to bark beetles. 

C A R E 

Container grown and reared is ideal, as it has been cited as difficult to transplant. Make space and give room for the growth habit. It needs to spread out. Blue Atlas enjoys full sun, moist and well-drained soils, and protection from harsh winter winds. 

 

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S O U R C E S

"Manual of Woody Landscape Plants," by Michael Dirr.

Yale University, Yale Nature Walk: Trees