Lebanese cedars - care rules
Lebanese cedar is a classic representative of the genus from the pine family, growing in warm climatic conditions. It has a history of several millennia, is mentioned in the Bible and is a national symbol of Lebanon. For artificial cultivation, it is used in landscape design to decorate park areas.
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- Needle color : blue-green.
- Height : in vivo growth - up to 40-50 m.
- Crown width : about 2-3 m.
- Distribution Range : Middle East (Lebanon)
- Planting Features : A well-lit area with ample space for growth and development.
- Life expectancy : 2-3 thousand years in the natural environment, up to 100 years in artificially created conditions.
The geography of distribution covers the mountainous terrain of the Middle East on the Mediterranean coast, and more precisely - the territory of Lebanon (formerly Phenicia), from where it takes its name and where it acts as a state symbol. It grows on the slopes of mountains in remote areas at an altitude of 2 km above sea level.
Places of natural growth have practically not been preserved and are limited to 6 cedar forests that are small in population. Has conservation status as threatened with extinction.
Separate specimens are found in Turkey, including in the southern coastal mountains of Taurus. Under artificial conditions, cultivation is widespread among the inhabitants of the Black Sea strip of the Krasnodar Territory, in the Transcaucasia and Central Asian regions. A small area of cedar forests is present in the Crimea.
Refers to relic evergreens. Under favorable climate conditions, it can reach heights of up to 40-50 m.
- the trunk is wide, in an adult tree, diameter up to 2.5 m, covered with dark gray scaly bark;
- woody layer with a reddish color, soft, but durable, has a pleasant coniferous smell;
- the crown of young cedars is canonical, dense, formed by a large number of shoots, as it grows up it becomes flattened-wide, elongated horizontally, in some specimens it looks like an open umbrella;
- needles in shades of green or blue-green, tetrahedral shape, folded into bundles of 30-40 needles 3-4 cm long, needles change every 2 years;
- fruits - light brown cones, average size 12 * 4-6 cm;
- resinous seeds, not suitable for food use, about 1.5 * 4 mm, seed wing up to 2.5 cm long.
Fruiting of Lebanese cedar begins at the age of 25-30 years with an interval of 2 years. In a natural environment, a tree reproduces by seed propagation by wind currents.
The total life expectancy in the wild is several millennia. The growth rate is slow.
Refers to photophilous plants. Able to tolerate drought, but reacts negatively to low temperatures, dying during prolonged frosts. Withstands short-term frost up to -30 ° С. It is undemanding to the soil, but it does not cope well with excess moisture.
The most suitable time for planting is autumn, before the onset of frost, incl. October November.
Choosing a seedling and a place for planting
Cedar needs sunlight
For planting in an artificial environment, choose a healthy seedling that does not have mechanical damage. Trees with a closed root system have the best rooting.
It is recommended to plant conifers in a sunlit area. The place is chosen so that an adult cedar with a horizontally growing crown will subsequently have enough open space.
Before planting, the soil is dug up, making humus at the same time. The composition of clay soil is improved by making coarse river sand.
The planting hole is dug to a depth exceeding the length of the roots of the seedling by 1/3. The bottom is laid out with expanded clay or pebbles, creating drainage.
The substrate is prepared from earth, peat and sand, taken in proportions of 2: 1: 2, adding compost, pine needles and wood ash as fertilizers to them. They fill the pit, pour a bucket of water and give the soil time to shrink.
After that, an earthen hill is made from the substrate, a seedling is set on top and its roots are sprinkled with soil, densely compacting the surface layer. At the end of the planting, the tree is abundantly watered and tied to a support.
How to care
Lebanese cedar care after planting includes properly organized watering, timely feeding and crown formation. For winter, young seedlings are closed.
Drought tolerant conifers do not require frequent watering. Newly planted seedlings are watered in the morning and evening hours daily for a week. Timely soil moisture provides immature plants with an active development of the root system.
After the procedure, or after heavy rain, the soil around the trunk is loosened, which increases the absorption of moisture and food by the roots and increases the amount of air entering them.
Lebanese cedar is recommended to be fed three times a season: in late spring, in the middle of summer and in early autumn. Ready-made mineral fertilizers like Agrricola, Forte and the like, which contain potassium and phosphorus in high proportions, are suitable for feeding the coniferous.
It is forbidden to add nitrogen-rich substances, including fresh manure, urea and ammonium nitrate.
The crown of the cedar is formed naturally, but throughout the season, the tree requires sanitary pruning, during which damaged and dried branches are removed.
The plant is also trimmed if it has 2 trunks formed, choosing the least developed one for removal.
To limit the growth of Lebanese cedar in a small area or when grown at home, its formation in the bonsai style helps.
Severe frosts adversely affect the health of the cedar, and persistent and prolonged cold with temperatures below -20 ° C can cause the death of the plant.
The crown of the tree can be formed
For this reason, when preparing for winter, the conifers are insulated, creating protection around the trunk:
- initially in the last days of autumn, 2 weeks before the onset of the first frosts, the tree is abundantly watered;
- a layer of humus or peat is poured into the trunk circle up to 15 cm thick;
- young saplings are provided with additional shelter for the winter by organizing a frame with a nonwoven fabric over them, while avoiding the use of air-tight polyethylene.
In the artificial cultivation of ornamental species, the seed method of reproduction is not applied, because they do not bear fruit.
Coniferous trees are propagated by cuttings, acquiring seedlings or by harvesting planting material on their own.
For growing, cut off in the spring from an adult conifer shoots with swollen buds with a length of 10 cm or more, which are placed in water, adding a root growth stimulator to it.
Subsequently, the stemmed root is planted in the greenhouse. A permanent place is planted only after 5-8 years, when the plant grows stronger.
Artificially grown Lebanese cedars grow up to 15 m and live up to 80 years.
It is possible to cultivate a wild cedar species from seeds, sowing 2-3 cm deep into a moist substrate of sod, pine needles and river sand. When reaching a height of 0.5 m, they are transplanted into loose, well-drained soil.
Diseases and Pests
Among the common diseases is a fungus. Abiga Peak, Ordan and Khom are used against rust and rot. Spraying is carried out in the evening in the absence of rainfall.
Affected shoots are pruned to prevent the spread of infection throughout the crown.
As a preventive measure, treatment with fungicidal preparations against fungal pathogens is carried out in early spring.
The conifers are affected by bark beetles and pine silkworms. The primary signs help to identify the pest on the tree - dense cocoons formed from cobwebs and deformed shoots with fallen needles.
In the fight against parasitic insects, insecticidal agents are used, for example, Actellik, Arrivo and the like. In case of a massive lesion, the treatments are carried out a second time with an interval of 2 weeks.
In ancient times, due to its high density, Lebanese cedar wood was used for construction and shipbuilding. Modern pharmacology uses coniferous plant oil in the manufacture of antiseptic agents.
Incense improves performance and has a warming, harmonizing property, helps with stress and relieves stress.
Starting from the 17th century, trees began to be actively used in landscape design. Residents of the Crimea, Transcaucasia and Krasnodar Territory grow them to decorate park areas.
Breeders bred several decorative species for cultivation in artificial conditions:
- Sargentii - a semi-dwarf species with weeping shoots, about 1 m high, grows well in shaded areas;
- Beacon - is distinguished by a narrow-conical crown and bright green needles, prefers territories illuminated by the sun;
- Glauca - has a weeping crown shape formed by branches with gray-blue needles;
- Nana - shrubby species up to 0.8-0.9 m high; branches grow asymmetrically;
- Var stenocoma is an upright conifer up to 3 m high, which is similar in description to a pine tree with a conical crown and a pointed apex.
For a private infield, decorative plants derived from the classic Lebanese cedar and having smaller sizes in comparison with the original copy are more suitable.
Gardeners appreciate this species. They note that the tree looks beautiful, it is resistant to drought and does not require frequent watering, grows well in the sunlit areas.
Propagated by cuttings more often, less seeds. You can plant with seeds taken from the cones of a wild plant, but it is difficult to grow in artificial conditions.