" Top 20" Shade Trees for the San Antonio Area"
Custom Plant Information By Wilson Landscape Nursery & Florist, Helotes, Texas
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# 6--Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara)
You have come to a great tree in your search! We at Wilson's hope that you find this plant information to be helpful and interesting. Let us know if we can help you further as you search for that special tree. Our information is based upon decades of loving trees, learning about trees, growing trees, maintaining trees, talking about trees, selling trees. planting trees, watching trees grow, enjoying the beauty of trees and being grateful to God for creating trees!
“The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.” “And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 2:9; 1:12)
Strengths and Weaknesses Listed
All trees have weaknesses and strengths. In order to thoroughly evaluate a tree, you should consider both. Let me begin by offering some strengths of Deodar Cedar and then I will describe some weaknesses. You will be happy to discover that this trees strengths overcome its weaknesses! In fact, from our viewpoint, Deodar Cedar makes the “Top Twenty” list coming in at #6. But perhaps, it will become your number #1 choice.
Strength: A Majestic Evergreen Conifer For San Antonio
Who says that we can't have majestic evergreen conifers in San Antonio! Deodar Cedar is a great choice. A few of these majestic giants dot our area. You've probably seen one but didn't know what it was called. These are the ones that look like giant Christmas trees with graceful arching limbs. There is an old majestic tree in San Antonio along Hildebrand Avenue close to Alamo Stadium. The Rim near I10 and Camp Bullis Road has nice groupings of younger Deodar Cedars. Helotes has an old Deodar in front of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. You can notice them when you drive through Hill Country towns like Fredericksburg, Boerne and Blanco. They stick out like giant Christmas trees!
Strength: The Himalayan Cedar
The tallest mountain range in the world is home to the Deodar Cedar. The name “Deodar” is translated “Tree of the gods.” It is beautiful to see them in their native range. Fantastic planted specimens can be seen throughout the world and in the United States, even in our own backyard.
Strength: Gives the Classic Christmas Tree Look
Deodar Cedar gives that classic Christmas tree look but in a tree that becomes very large. It looks healthy and beautiful with its long arching branches. You could decorate it with Christmas ornaments until it gets so big you can't reach the top. Some cities get a crane to place a star on the tops of theirs.
Strength: Drought Tolerant
Deodar Cedar is moderately drought tolerant, equal to many of our natives. It will need some supplemental water the first few years and it would be a good idea to water during significant drought. If aquifer levels drop and water restrictions kick in, this is a good indication that your tree will need some supplemental irrigation as well. If stage 1, then be sure to water deeply at least once. If stage two then water deeply again. If stage 3 then water deeply at least three times until rains return.
Strength: Very Large Tree
Around our area this tree can reach 60' feet tall and 30' feet wide at the lower limbs. No other classic conifer that we can plant around here gets as large as the Deodar Cedar. True, Bald Cypress is technically a conifer and even larger but we are talking about the classic conifer look. Arizona Cypress is another conifer that does well here and has the classic conifer look but falls more into the small ornamental tree category than the large shade tree category.
Strength: Well-Adapted to Our Alkaline Soils
Since the Deodar is native to the Himalayan Mountains and Eastern Afghanistan, it can do well in our alkae soils. It will appreciate the additional help of some good topsoil and can grow just fine in our Hill Country soils, with a little help appreciated, as with all other quality trees.
Strength: Great For Parks And Large Open Spaces
Deodar Cedar is a great tree to plant where it has space to grow. Many areas might be appropriate, especially parks, subdivision entrances, common recreational areas, large residential properties and acreage in general. What a great showcase plant. It should be planted as a centerpiece or as a background tree since it will block off the view of plants behind it if it is planted in the foreground.
All trees have weaknesses and strengths. In order to thoroughly evaluate a tree, you should consider both. You will be happy to discover that this trees strengths overcome its weaknesses!
Weakness: Too Large For Smaller Residential Lots
Deodar Cedar eventually gets too large for smaller residential homes. It could block out the view of your home, and even though it would certainly make a statement, it might seem out of scale for a small yard.
Weakness: Limited Availability
It is usually difficult to find a smaller Deodar Cedar in a #5 container or even a #15 container. Usually these are sold in 36” inch boxes or larger. This means that even though they will be larger, they will also be more expensive.
Weakness: Not As Showy in a Pot
Some trees don't look as good in a pot. Deodar Cedar wants to stretch out its roots to grow its best. It tends to get tall in the pot but not as full as you would like.
More About Deodar Cedar
Cedar of Lebanon Similar to Deodar Cedar
It is interesting to note that the biblical Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus labani) looks much like the Deodar Cedar but is rarely planted in Texas. The Deodar Cedar has been more widely planted but is still not common. Its nice to know that you can capture some of that biblical majesty by planting a Deodar Cedar.
Why Aren't More Deodar Cedars Planted Here
Many more of these trees should be planted since they do so well in our area. One legitimate problem is that the tree becomes so large that it would swallow up an entire residential lot! But size can be a good thing, too, if you have the space available. Another reason is its lack of consistent availability from the large wholesale growers in our area. And perhaps, most of all, not enough people really know about this tree to begin with.
San Antonio's Most Undesirable and Desirable Conifers: Cedar Trees and Bald Cypress
We do actually have an abundance of coniferous trees in the San Antonio area, it is just that they are not what you normally think of as conifers. A conifer is a tree that makes a cone and cones come in many shapes and sizes. When most people think of conifers, they think of Spruce trees in the Rocky Mountains or forests of Pine trees. Usually, when thinking of conifers, we think of trees that look like Christmas trees.
Cedar Trees (Juniperus ashei)
But our most common conifer looks “sort of” like a Christmas tree; that is, like a “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree! Yes, I am speaking about the Ashe Juniper, the Cedar Tree. When my wife and I were dating, we thought it would be fun to go out into the Hill Country and cut down a Cedar tree for my future parents-in-law's Christmas tree. They were very gracious and accepted our Christmas tree gift, but I am not sure if they would accept another one now! There are actually some majestic Cedar trees out there. But, perhaps one reason why so few conifer like trees are planted in our area is because of the abundance of the Cedar tree (Ashe juniper). It seems we are satisfied, or should I say, fed up, with the amount of Cedars we already have in the Hill Country. Otherwise, we might see more conifers like Arizona Cypress or a multitude of other junipers that are available. Yet even though these are available, they do not fit the bill for a large shade tree. The Deodar Cedar rises above these smaller conifers into a truly huge specimen making it distinct from all of the others.
Our Native Large Conifer: The Bald Cypress
On the other hand, we do have one conifer that is absolutely awesome. It is the Bald Cypress that grows along our Hill Country creeks and rivers. It is a deciduous conifer and so it loses it leaves but is one of our most majestic trees. More than any other native tree, it gives us some of that Christmas tree look, especially on younger trees. As it gets older it gets more awesome but less like a giant Spruce in Colorado.
Deodar Cedars For Sale At Wilson's
We usually have a limited supply of Deodar Cedars at the nursery. These are typically in larger sizes from a 36” inch box and larger. We will be searching for other sources so that we can also offer smaller sizes as well.
A Blessing For You
We hope that this plant information helps you as you search for that perfect tree. Whichever tree you choose, may it bring you many years of beauty and peace.
May you and your tree be “like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.” (Psalm 1:3)
Other Top 20 Trees
If you are interested in buying or browsing Deodar Cedar trees in Helotes or San Antonio, Wilson Landscape has an impressive stock of all sizes and shapes of trees. We grow all of our trees from acorns and seeds and only use the best fertilizers. We have beautiful Deodar Cedars to choose from. We specialize in tree growing, and we only grow native and well adapted Texas trees, so you can be sure they will flourish. Best of all, Glenn and Sherry are plant experts and would love to answer any and all questions and concerns about your specific tree needs. Our knowledge is something that is hard to find. Come on in or give us a call today!
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