cedar defined in 1944 yearcedar - Cedar;
cedar - (Genus: Cedrus, Lawson. Family: Abietacea.) G. Zeder; F. Cèdre; W. Cedrwydden.
The name "cedar" is also used for certain other conifers, and also for some tropical broad-leaved trees. It is of ancient Greek derivation.
The cedars are usually grown in parks and gardens, seldom in woodlands, and their usual form is a short stout trunk, supporting great flat sweeps of beautifully disposed foliage. In woodland they are taller, more slender, and their branches do not assume such horizontal planes.
The bark of the young shoots, is smooth, blue-grey in colour and the shoots are of two kinds. On the long-shoots the needles are spirally set; on the short-shoots they are clustered radially in large numbers. They are dark green or blue-green in colour, and evergreen. The winter buds are very small, round, and clothed in brown scales. The branches extend by the elongation of the long shoots in early summer; the tip of the leading shoot frequently bends over, as a protection against snow break. In old trees the bark becomes rougher, and is broken into quadrilateral plates.
The male flowers, which appear in August, take the form of erect catkins, scattering golden pollen. Female flowers, on the same tree, are erect green globes with very broad scales. The cones ripen slowly, and the seed within them is not ready to fall till the second summer after pollination; as it cannot drop out from the erect woody globes, it has to wait until the cone's scales fall away from their axis, a slow process taking a year or more to complete. The seed is winged, both seed and wing being angular in outline and forming together a broad triangle.
Seeds frequently ripen in Britain and, if care is taken to collect only two-year-old cones, judged by their degree of ripeness and position on the branches behind the one-year cones, extraction of good seed presents little difficulty; 10,000 seeds go to the lb., and they should be sown the spring after collection. The seedlings have each about 10 cotyledons. They benefit by shading in the nursery, but make rapid growth, and may be transplanted when 2 years old; after a further two years in nursery lines they are fit for forest use; ornamental cedars are frequently kept much longer in the nursery.
The cedars have been little used for forest planting and no standard plantation treatment has yet become general. They require reasonably good soil, with some protection from wind, but are frost-hardy and have few natural enemies. They bear shade well, so that they may be used in mixture with more light-demanding conifers such as pine or larch, which afford them some degree of nursing in their earlier stages. Their rate of growth is reasonably good, though slower than most conifers, and they reach large dimensions, up to 125 feet in height, 24 feet in girth.
The wood has a distinct pinkish-brown heartwood, with paler sapwood. It is resinous, sweet-scented, and resistant to decay, and useful for outdoor work of all kinds. It contains a natural 'oil, and is an excellent firewood. Since the days of King Solomon, it has been valued wherever found as a high-class structural timber for buildings; it is also largely used (in northern India) for railway sleepers; its attractive appearance and odour fit it well for indoor furniture and furnishings.
Judging by the growth of park trees in this country, and the utility of the timber abroad, the cedars should prove of increasing importance in the woodlands of Britain. Plantations are still on an experimental scale, but the merits of the genus justify planting on the better conifer soils - at least in mixture.
Four species of cedar are recognised, and they afford an interesting example of discontinuous distribution, persisting as relics of what was formerly an important group of trees with an extensive range across the Old World. The Algerian Cedar (Cedrus atlantica, Manetti) is found on the Atlas Mountains of north-west Africa. At the other end of the Mediterranean occur the Cyprus Cedar (C. brevifolia, Henry fil.), and the famous Cedar of Lebanon (C. libaniy Loudon) found in the Lebanon and Taurus mountains of Syria. Far to the east, the Indian Cedar or Deodar (C. deodara, Loudon) forms valuable forests on the steep slopes of the Himalayas. The differences between the species are of a minor nature; C. atlantica usually has ascending branches, C. libani level branches, whilst the branches and shoots of C. deodara droop at the tip. The Deodar is usually chosen for forest planting.
Numerous ornamental forms are grown by nurserymen, of which the Blue Cedar (C. atlantica, var. glauca, Carrière) with silvery blue foliage and a vigorous habit, is the most handsome.
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near cedar in Knolik
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