Best grown in deep, moist but well-drained, acidic loams in full sun. Drought tolerant once established. Intolerant of poorly drained wet soils. Best tolerance of the true cedars for hot and humid summers. Not reliably winter hardy in the St. Louis area where this tree probably should not be grown. If attempted, however, site young trees in locations protected from winter winds.
Deodar cedars are evergreen conifers that are pyramidal when young, maturing to flat-topped trees with broad-spreading horizontal branching. Deodar cedars are perhaps the most pendulous of the true cedars, with drooping branchlets and branching that is gracefully drooping at the tips. Lower branches typically remain on the tree as it ages, often touching the ground. This is a medium-growing tree that typically matures to 40-50’ tall in its first 25 years. In its native habitat, trees reportedly will grow much taller over time, sometimes reaching 150-200’ tall. Dark grayish-green needles (to 1.25” long) appear in clusters. Upright cones (to 4” long). It is native to the Himalayas.
No serious insect or disease problems. Tip blight and root rot may occur. Winter hardiness is a concern in the St. Louis area where consideration should be given to planting a cultivar such as ‘Shalimar’ that has slightly better hardiness than the species. Notwithstanding the winter hardiness problems, these plants usually struggle in the St. Louis area where environmental conditions do not favor most conifers.
Specimen tree for large lawns. Prune as a screen or hedge.