Cedar of Lebanon

Cedrus libani, or cedar is known as Lebanon Cedar, Atlas Cedar, Himalayan Cedar and Cyprus cedar

Cedrus libani libaniCedrus (Bot.)
Cedar of Lebanon (Eng.)
Cedre the Liban (French)
Lebanon Zeder (German)
Pinaceae – pine family

Many front gardens in towns and villages is a cedar, a beautiful tree with wide branches and

silvery gray-blue needles. This is the blue cedar (Cedrus libani ‘Glauca’). I wonder if those who planted this beautiful tree has realized how high and wide it would be. You

therefore almost no daylight in front of your house. Maybe it was the color of the needles, the smell of the wood and the decorative cones attractive.


Lebanon cedar (Cedrus libani), which we know from the Bible, in ancient times covered with cypress and oak forests in the massive Lebanon Mountains. He was named King of the Trees. The intense use of cedar began during the third century BC. Especially trade with Egypt was significant. The Egyptians built their temples, palaces, forts and fleets of cedar and destroyed in this way, the beautiful cedar forests. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon from 605-562 BC. praises himself on one of cuneiform tables are as follows: “For the building, I mighty cedars, which I chopped on Mount Lebanon, brought home.” This type of cedar grows on the mountains of Syria and South Turkeije. Meanwhile, the Lebanon cedar around the world in arboretums, gardens and parks planted.

The cedar is the national symbol of Lebanon.

Only in the 17th century, the cedar from the Atlas Mountains and the Himalayas in Central European countries. Here he was often planted in parks and solitary.


Cedrus The word is derived from the Greek word Kedros. It was several kinds of pine trees with fragrant wood specified.

The Hebrew word for cedar erez ahrazim or is derived from an ancient Arabian description for “a well-rooted and strong tree.”

In the Hindu peoples of the northwest Indian Himalayas known as the Deodar cedar, derived from devadaru, a word from Sanskrit (ancient Indian language), which means “Tree of God” means.

Plant Types and Features

There are four types of cedars. Other conifers also sometimes called cedars, cypresses are actually. The main tree of the Orient was the

Lebanon Cedar,

up to 40 m high, evergreen conifer that grows slowly. Its first crown is broad and conical, with trees shaped flat screen. He has large protruding branches. The top is upright or tilted sideways bent. The blue-green needles are in bunches on short shoots and are spirally implanted. They resemble somewhat those of the larch and are renewed every two years. The flowers are monoecious (male and female flowers on same tree). The male standing upright on the short shoots. The female flowers are 1 inch long, pale green or reddish cones. The bark is finely furrowed and dark gray. All cedars thrive in the fall. The barrel-shaped, light brown cones are upright, contain lots of resin and are only in the third year maturity.

Lebanon Cedar thrives only at the age of 25-30 years.

Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica)

This type of cedar is native to the Atlas Mountains (Morocco, Algeria) and is with us, mostly as decorative blue form (glauca) in parks and gardens planted. In Africa this tree is 50 meters high. He has a loose shape that first broadly conical, later irregular wide. The summit is always upright. The needles are single long shoots and standing in bushes on the short shoots. They are stiff, pointed and green, with the cultivar ‘Glauca’ blue-green to silver. The male flowers are monoecious and erect on short shoots, sometimes yellowish or slightly pink. The female flowers are long light green or pink cones. The barrel-shaped, light brown cones stand upright, and not until the third year maturity.

Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodara)

Cedrus deodara

This type of cedar is native to the western Himalayas and there is the Sacred Tree of the Hindus. He is with us as an ornamental tree planted. This fairly slim pine tree, 60 meters tall. His crown is conical with an overhanging top. The needles are pointed, thin, soft, pliable and usually pale green, rarely blue or gray-green. The cones are bluish frosted, later reddish brown.

Cyprus cedar (Cedrus brevofilia)

This type of cedar is found only in the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus and is rarely planted in us.

With 20 meters is the least high cedar. The crown is conical, the branches are horizontal and hanging at the ends. The needles are very short (mean brevifolia with short needles), green or blue-green with fine white or yellow stripes on the bovenkan. The cones are ovoid and smooth at the top have a small, beak-like point.

branch of Cedrus brevifolia

Cultivars and other species

Sometimes we also Cedrus atlantica ‘Aurea’ with green to yellow needles, or the weeping form Cedrus atlantica ‘Pendula’.

Cedrus atlantica ‘Pendula’

Prior use

Cedar was already in prehistoric times from Syria to Egypt and transported widely used for its aromatic fragrance and durability. The Egyptians built the giant cedar gates of their temples, shrines and coffins. It was believed that the smell of cedar regeneration would accelerate. Cedar resin and oil in folk medicine for a long time significance. They were used to treat wounds and skin diseases. Besides juniper oil, cedar oil was for embalming mummies used.

The Egyptian Pharaohs had cedar needed to build their ships, tombs, palaces and temple roofs. With the wood extracted from tar sealed one of the bottoms of ships.

The most famous use of cedar is the construction of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem.

In the second century AD. Emperor decided guardian to protect the remaining cedar forests. He data in rocks and tree files inscribe boundaries. So far there are 200 of these inscriptions known, about which one it has in the ancient forests.

male crystals of Cedrus atlantica

Unfortunately, the actions of Hadrian in the following centuries by the people at the boot patched. Again, Lebanon’s cedar trees cut down, now for heating, charcoal production and burning of lime kilns. British troops used during the first World War much cedar wood to build the Tripoli-Haifa train.

Fortunately, in the Lebanon Mountains in inaccessible areas have been preserved cedar forests. In the cedar forest of 375 trees are Bscharre, more than 1000 years old and a height of 35 m achieved. Their girth is 12-14 m. During the past few decades, about 2,000 young cedars planted. Cedars have 40 years to develop viable seeds.

In 1876 to protect against the predation of goats around the Cedar Forest, a wall was built, financed by Queen Victoria.

Friends of the Cedar Forest in the nineties from the old trees pruned away the dead wood, soil fertilization, tree diseases treated and installed lightning rods. They also put a 1000 m long footpath, so that people can walk through the cedar trees without damaging them.

cone of Cedrus libani

The Maronite chapel in the middle of the cedar forest every year on August 6 a Mass celebrated for the protection of ancient cedars.


In the famous Epic of Gilgamesh Gilgamesh go (king of the Sumerian city of Uruk around 200 BC) and Enkidu on its way to the Holy Chumbaba watched cedar felling. During this act the earth trembles in Lebanon and Syria. Of the wood they build a huge port. As Enkidu damage the roots, he later died.

According to Egyptian mythology, the god Osiris’s coffin at the foot of a cedar put down. The tree grew up quickly and enclosed the chest with its branches.

The cedar tree is the most in the Bible. This relates to the Lebanon Cedar. Here it is often used as a symbol of power and dignity, valor and glory, beauty and fertility.

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