Features of Atlas cedar - a thermophilic plant with an original crown
Atlas cedar is a powerful evergreen giant that grows in Africa. This species is especially common in Morocco and Algeria. It was named after the native African mountains - Atlas. In Europe began to be grown from the middle of the 19th century.
Features of Atlas Cedar
View brief information
- Color : bluish-green, gray, silver.
- Height : up to 55 m.
- Barrel diameter : 200 cm.
- In which regions it grows : frost resistance zone 9-6 (southern regions).
- Features of planting : in a sunny place, at a distance of 5-8 m from other seedlings.
- Immunity : medium.
- Life expectancy : about 800 years.
Atlas cedar is an impressive tree with a height of up to 50-55 m. The trunk diameter often reaches 200 cm. The crown is wide, pyramidal in shape with a slightly flattened apex. The resinous wood smells like sandalwood.
The bark of the tree is dark gray. The needles can be bluish-green, gray or silver. Needles are rigid, 20-25 mm long. Dense oval cones grow up to 10 cm, ripening for three years.
There are different forms of this type: columnar, weeping (branches hang down), pyramidal, golden, dwarf, etc.
In addition to natural habitats, this variety is widespread in the Crimean peninsula, the Caucasus and Transcaucasia.
The tree withstands frosts down to -20 ° С, which allows it to be grown in frost resistance zones from 9 to 6. In Russia, the most southern regions (Krasnodar Territory, Volgograd Region, Arkhangelsk, etc.) correspond to these conditions.
Useful qualities have almost all parts of the tree.
Vegetable oil is made from cedar seeds, and essential oil is made from pine needles, shoots and wood. Both products contain many valuable substances: vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, omega 6 and 9, carotenoids, etc.
Cedar preparations have the following medicinal properties:
- disinfect, eliminate inflammation, heal wounds and burns;
- reduce pain and cramping;
- tone, relax, strengthen the nervous system, relieve stress;
- help with infectious and viral diseases;
- possess mucolytic properties (used for bronchitis);
- improve vision and increase immunity;
- eliminate insomnia;
- used for the prevention of diseases of the heart, joints, musculoskeletal system.
In treating cosmetology
Cedar needles are used in cosmetology
The use of essential oil is very popular in treating cosmetology and aromatherapy. It improves blood circulation and lymph metabolism, cleanses, tones and restores the skin. It is often used to strengthen hair and against baldness.
Cedar preparations successfully eliminate youthful acne, acne and irritation.
The most suitable for planting in open ground are seedlings aged 6-7 years. Only plants with a closed root system are worth buying.
There are different varieties of Atlas cedar (as well as Lebanese, Himalayan, Cypriot), adapted to the climate and allowing you to grow a tree of the desired height and shape. They should be purchased only from trusted manufacturers. It is better to plant in the fall - in September or the first half of October.
Cedar should be planted in a well-lit place, at a distance of 5-8 m from other trees. He loves fertile, loose and moderately moist loams, does not tolerate dryness and excessive humidity. It reacts poorly to lime in the composition of the soil.
They dig a landing hole in advance. Its dimensions should be one third more than the volume of an earthen coma. Peat, sand, leaf humus, ash, fertilizer complexes for conifers are added to the soil. First, water is poured into the hole and allowed to soak, and then the first layer of soil is laid out (if necessary, drainage).
The seedling is set so that the root neck remains at ground level, then sprinkled with a substrate, gradually tamping. Then the tree is watered again abundantly. On top of the trunk circle mulch (peat, needles, sawdust or bark).
Cedar care measures are the same as for other conifers. However, they have some features. For this tree, regular watering, mulching and proper feeding are especially important.
The tree is watered weekly, focusing on the condition of the soil. In dry season, do 2-3 waterings per week. For 1 m of growth, 10 liters of water are used. In the evenings they sprinkle needles.
In spring and summer, cedar loves potash fertilizers (stove ash can be used). A universal option is a complex of minerals for conifers with a minimum amount of nitrogen. Once a month, a tree needs foliar supplements containing phosphorus, iron, and magnesium.
Mulching and loosening
Loosening helps the roots saturate with oxygen
The cedar has a superficial root system, so it is shown shallow loosening. The best option is to mulch the trunk. This allows you to normalize the level of soil moisture: to avoid excessive dryness and waterlogging.
Peat, needles, dry foliage or bark are used as mulch.
Mandatory cedar needs only spring sanitary pruning - the removal of dry branches and cones, damaged and diseased shoots. They form it at will or with a very thickened crown. The broad pyramidal shape is preserved in a natural way. If necessary, cardinal formation of the tree is cut in the fall - in September.
In warm regions where Atlas cedar is grown, winters are rather mild - an adult strong tree does not need protection. But young specimens must be prepared for the cold: mulch with a thick layer of foliage or peat. The crown of seedlings is wrapped in burlap and tied with twine or put on a special cover.
Cedar is propagated in several ways. Cuttings are rooted in a substrate or grafted onto a pine. In addition, the tree can be grown from seeds that are in cones. Despite the duration of the latter option, it is perhaps the most popular.
Cedar seeds for sowing are pre-germinated in water and treated with potassium permanganate. In the spring they are sown in containers with a nutrient substrate, and in the fall - directly in the garden. The soil mixture is usually prepared from peat from leafy land.
Hacked sprouts are watered with a weak solution of manganese and kept under a film until the shell leaves them.
Diseases and Pests
A frequent problem when growing cedar is yellowing needles. This may be a sign of sunburn or chlorosis (deficiency of iron and other trace elements). In the latter case, foliar top dressing with appropriate minerals will help. The situation is more serious: if the cause of yellowness is fungal infections or root rot. In these circumstances, special drugs are used - fungicides.
The best disease prevention is proper care and maintenance of normal soil moisture. In addition, the tree should be inspected regularly for pests. The cedar has many similar enemies, and the most common of them are saw cutters, codling moths and pine cones. Insecticides are used to combat them.
Fields of application
In Africa, the field of application of cedar wood has long been shipbuilding. Now they make beautiful furniture out of it. Due to the beneficial properties of needles, seeds, bark and resin, the plant is used in medicine and cosmetology (essential and vegetable oils).
This species is quite popular in landscape design. Tall specimens are planted in parks and extensive gardens, dwarf varieties can be found in ordinary areas.
Atlas cedar looks spectacular as a tapeworm or in small groups, in harmony with spruce, thuja, pine and deciduous trees, creates a unique oriental atmosphere.
Usually gardeners grow Atlas cedar in the southern regions, preferring dwarf varieties. In central Russia, experimenting with this species is not recommended due to the cool climate.
However, it was noted that the cuttings grafted on the ordinary pine are more resistant to cold and can grow in the 6th zone of frost resistance at temperatures up to -25 ° С.
Judging by the reviews, in warm regions, cedar does not cause much trouble for care. All he needs is moderately moist soil and a sunny spot. Some gardeners grow a tree in a temperate climate in a pot method, bringing it to a well-heated room for the winter. In this case, there is much more concern: frequent feeding, transportation, thorough pest prevention, maintaining climatic conditions, etc.