Calocedrus decurrens - aka California Incense Cedar
Calocedrus is a wonderful evergreen species that is actually native to many areas of the west & northwestern US. It is many times confused with Arborvitae. This tree has a very formal look to it, and starts out narrowly columnar in its youth. As it matures, it takes on a slightly broader, more pyramidal shape with lustrous green fan-like sprays of foliage. Foliage is very aromatic when crushed or rubbed. Foliage holds its green color extremely well in winter - far better than any arborvitae variety of comparable size.
Uses for Calocedrus can vary from large privacy screens & borders, to large, single specimen type plantings. Very, very drought & heat tolerant once established - and has shown itself to tolerate very poor soils as well. This variety is really starting to catch on in various areas all across the country......and for good reason. Easy to grow, and truly beautiful!!
Plant Facts & Specifications
Mature Height: 40-50 ft.....as tall as 70 ft in optimum soil & environment
Mature Width: 8-12 ft
Growth rate: Moderate / fast ( 10"-18" per yr )
Hardiness Zones: 5-8 some zone 9 areas if sheltered from hot afternoon sun
( if unsure of your zone, please use zone finder below )
Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Soil Preference: Prefers moist, well drained fertile soils - but will adapt to a very wide range of soil conditions
Foliage Color & Texture: Shiny, lustrous dark green on both sides. Foliage is held in flattened, fan-like sprays with a slightly finer texture than typical arborvitae foliage. Foliage is very aromatic when rubbed or crushed.
Flower, Cone, Or Berry Facts: Cones are somewhat flattened, approximately 1" in length, and remain on the tree until early spring most every year. Cones start out as a light green color, eventually ripening to a tan to reddish brown color in the fall. Cone shape kinda reminds you of a duck's bill.
Diseases / Insects: Most damage to this species is caused by a trunk rot from Polyporus amarus infection. Both Gymnosporangium rust, and Incense Cedar scale have been reported - but are EXTREMELY rare.
Fertilization / Feeding: For maximum health & color, we highly recommend POOPeas Organic Fertilizer & Soil Amendment.
However, either water soluble ( Miracle Gro, or equivalent ), or
granular fertilizers ( Holly Tone is excellent ) are also good options. Most any granular fertilizers with a 6-12-12, or
10-10-10 ratio are also acceptable. Best to fertilize in early spring,
and again in mid fall - avoid feeding standard chemical fertilizers
during hot summer months, and directly after transplanting. POOPeas may be used at anytime. Feeding can be beneficial when young ( first 5 or 6 yrs ), after which the tree will most likely be too large to effectively benefit from normal fertilizers / foods that are commonly used.