Cedar Facts

Cedar Facts
Cedar is an evergreen tree that belongs to the family of pines (term "cedar tree" is sometimes used to describe more than 30 species of plants that belong to three different families: Pinaceae, Cupressaceae and Meliaceae). Cedar originates from Himalayas and Mediterranean region, but it can be found in the areas with temperate climate around the world today. People cultivate cedar because of its ornamental morphology and fragrant, durable wood that has application in the construction and furniture industry.
Interesting Cedar Facts:
Cedar can reach from 98 to 131 feet in height and around 8 feet in diameter (trunk).
Cedar has dark-grey or brown bark. Surface of the bark is covered with square-shaped cracks or with thick ridges.
Cedar produces two types of shoots: long and short. Long shoots produce framework of the branches. Short shoots are covered with leaves. Crown of cedar is usually pyramidal in shape.
Cedar has needle-like leaves that are densely packed in spiral clusters on the branches. Color of the leaves ranges from light to dark green. Some species have bluish green needles.
Cedar leaves are covered with thick layer of white wax which prevents loss of water. Color of the leaves depends on the thickness of the wax.
Cedar does not produce flowers. Instead, it reproduces via cones. Cedar is monoecious plant which means that it produces male and female cones on the same tree.
Male cones are ovoid in shape. Even though they can be seen on the trees during the summer, they do not release pollen until the autumn.
Immature female cones are shaped like barrel and green colored. 12 months after pollination, female cones are ready to release winged seed. Mature cones are grey-brown colored.
Winged seed of some species of cedar are rich source of unpalatable resin which keeps the seed safe from small herbivores such as squirrels.
According to the legend, Lebanon cedar was used for the construction of ships for the Alexander the Great and for the construction of the temple of King Solomon in Jerusalem.
Wood of cedar was extensively used in the past for the manufacture of boxes, bowls, boats, tools and various weapons.
Fragrant oil extracted from the heartwood of cedar was used during the process of mummification in the ancient Egypt. Native Americans used this oil to repel mosquitoes.
Insect-repelling properties of cedar are appreciated in the industry of furniture. Closets made of cedar are moths-free. Wood of cedar is also used for the manufacture of shoe trees because it absorbs moisture and neutralize unpleasant smell.
Lebanon cedar is a symbol of tolerance and immortality in the Lebanon. It occupies central position on the flag of this country.
Cedar can survive more than 300 years in the wild.

Related Links:
Plants Facts
Animals Facts