Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar-Focal Point in the Garden

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca Pendula')
One of my all time favorite evergreens in the landscape is Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar, Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula’.  Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar is a conical evergreen known for its graceful flowing nature and beautiful silvery blue-green needles.  It is a focal point and specimen in the garden and quite the conversation piece for its shape and irregular weeping pattern resembling a cascading waterfall.  Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula’ is hardy to USDA Zones 6-8, prefers an acidic-slightly alkaline well-drained loam soil and location in full sun (6-8 hours sunlight).  They are tolerant of many soil types but will not fair well in soils with poor drainage such as clay.  
Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar Zones 6-8





Use this beautiful evergreen as a specimen planting where it will not be crowded and has plenty of room to spread. Depending on the structure of your tree it can reach a height of 10-15 feet and a width of 8-10 feet across and would be difficult to transplant once established. As your tree matures its cascading branches will drape down to the ground giving your tree grace and charm.

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca Pendula')
Generally the trunk of a Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar can be trained as a spiral, grown horizontally or in a more upright form; therefore, they can be purchased at a variety of heights and shapes and will stay around the height at which they were trained. To prune the tree wait until late October-early November (mid-Fall) to clip off any weak or bent branches which are resting on the ground to an inch or two above the soil. The branches look best when cascading to the ground but it is recommended to perform this routine pruning in order to prevent any fungal disease that may result from the branches resting on soil. Branches that reach out beyond a desired point can also be pruned back to give fullness and strength to the structure of the tree. Other than that Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar do not require much pruning.  
 
 Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar takes on its own unique shape .
Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar is not prone to any particular pests or diseases. Another plus is that they are also deer resistant! They do benefit from an early spring feeding and should be protected from strong winter winds. If you have clay soil break up the soil and add gypsum, which will help to improve drainage, or if the clay is very compact use a post-hole digger to dig down and add gravel to help water flow. When planting, allow this specimen plenty of room to grow so that it can reach its full potential.

If you are looking for something different, this specimen tree will highlight your landscape and bring you many years of enjoyment. Its silvery-blue needles and beautiful weeping habit make it an excellent addition as a focal point in the garden…an attribute that will only improve as your tree matures in age.  



Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.



29 comments:

  1. I truly admire this plant and am sorry that we are just too cold here in Wisconsin for them... these photos are wonderful! Larry

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  2. Its a very beautiful plant but I don't know if its available in my part of world or not but I definitely give it a try and search for it. Very inspiring post.
    rabia

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  3. Thank you for visiting and for your comments. In colder portions of the world you might like to try Colorado Blue Spruce (hardy to Zone 2) for the same blue color. There is also a weeping form of this plant.

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  4. Greetings from Southern California :-)

    I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You, ~Ron

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  5. I purchased a home that has a 30 foot wide weeping atlas blue cedar. It is a beautiful tree that has grown to overshadow the beauty of the house. The previous owners had no idea of the treasure they had growing in their front yard.
    Is there anyone I can consult for information on selling this tree so that it may be placed in an environment more fitting.

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  6. That sounds like a magnificient tree. I would suggest contacting local nurserys or growers to see if anyone has interest in it. For a tree that size a tree spade would probably be necessary to move it which can be costly. If the grower or nursery has a customer who would be interested in the tree then it may be worth the digging/moving expense. Probably the best bet would be to keep asking around as you are here and maybe there will be someone with interest. You could also try contacting any local builders of new homes looking to landscape them.

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  7. Hi Lee, I just purchased a spiral shaped weeping blue atlas cedar. I am happy with the height and width. Are you confident that the tree will remain close to its current size? 10 to 15' wide is far too big for my small lot. If there is a chance that it can reach that width, I will want to return it promptly. Thanks, Bird

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  8. Hi Bird-

    The Upright Spiral Blue Atlas tend to stay slimmer but the tree will send lateral branches outward that can get quite extensive. The key is to maintain the width by pruning the lateral branches to keep them tighter to the tree. It is a beautiful specimen of a tree. You will probably grow to love its unusual shape-each one unique in its own way.

    Lee

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  9. I'm so happy I found this website - I had a W.B.A.C. planted next to my house (an end-unit row-house in DC) about 22 years ago and it's approaching 18 feet in height. I never trained it to spiral or pruned it to keep it short; it has just towered upward in its own twisty way and appears to be quite healthy. My issue is this: the tree is about six feet away from the house and there is a sunny space between the house and the tree which would be perfect for another of my favorite shrubs (Fothergilla). The tree trunk near the base is about a foot in diameter and the hole for the shrub would be about three feet away, but I'm very concerned about having to cut tree roots to dig a hole for the Fothergilla. I would buy just a one-gallon-sized shrub to minimize the impact but I'm still worried - what are the odds of damaging my gorgeous weeping Blue Atlas Cedar? Thanks!

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  10. Your Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar sounds like a magnificent tree and probably has an extensive root system. Generally tree roots extend to the outreach of the branches. If you have concerns about digging near your mature tree I would suggest avoiding it. You can still get you Fothergilla but plant it in a spot where it can grow. I believe they grow to about four feet. To fill the gap between your tree and the house perhaps you can add a nice boulder as an accent and the tree branches can weep over which could add a nice touch. Hope this helps.

    ~ Lee

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  11. Thank you for your advice on prunning but I am still somewhat unsure. I have a spiral Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar that I had trained to a certain height. The leading branch is now extending down to the ground. Do I trim that off? If I do that will it start sprouting more branches there? Or do I start to train that leading branch? It is starting to not look so artistic and is heading into another bush. Kimberly

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  12. Hi Kimberly,

    Generally speaking the leader branches that extend to the ground give the tree more interest, especially as they start to fill out. Without actually seeing the tree the best advice I could give you is to do some selective pruning and train the branch to go in a direction away from the other shrubs. You did mention that the tree is no longer looking as "artistic" so go with your instinct and prune a little at a time-nothing drastic. Hope this helps.

    ~ Lee

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  13. Thanks. How would I post a picture? Maybe then I could get some artistic feedback. One thing I was thinking was to use it to start another serpentine or spiral going up in the space. That would keep it out of the roses going around the gazebo.

    Kimberly

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  14. You can e-mail me a photo. I think your idea of creating another serpentine is a good one!

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  15. We are planning to plant a weeping atlas cedar right next to our garage - about one foot away. We want to stake and train it to grow along the garage wall.

    If we keep it trimmed will that also keep the roots from becoming extensive? The garage is 6 feet from our house and this "alley" space is also the walkway to the back yard. We don't want above ground roots to be a source of tripping.

    Is there a way to plan the tree to avoid above ground roots?

    Also - do you see any problems with our plan?

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  16. --- actually the space between the house and garage is 11 feet.

    Thanks for any help / advice you may have.

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  17. Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar really doesn't pose a threat with above ground roots but the tree does get large over time. Also pruning the tree will not stop the roots from growing. I'm not sure about the location because the tree will grow quite large but if you buy a narrow tree to begin with and train it to grow to one side it could make a nice specimen. Make sure you have full sun and good drainage as well. I hope this helps. It's hard to say without seeing the site.

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  18. We are in PA and have missed the spring pruning of the atlas cedar. This is the first year we have had it. There is a lot of new growth lying on the soil and we do not want to have to worry about fungal disease (we have many varieties of fungus growing on the mulch near the tree due to all the rain). Is it too late to prune?

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  19. Not at all! You can prune off the branches that are hitting the ground any time...just not too close to winter since the tree needs time to harden off before freezing weather.

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  20. Sorry, I'm going to post this again as I do not think my question was saved. We are looking to have the ceder in a flower bed behind our pool. The bed is about 10 feet deep and 20 feet long. The tree would be placed about 8 feet from the pool and 8 feet from the underground plumbing for the pool. My concerns are that the root system of the tree may cause problems with the fiberglass pool or plumbing. Also while I would expect needles to drop, is it so bad that I would need to spend my life cleaning up the pool. The pool is Salt water.

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  21. Hi Scott-Sorry it took a couple of days to get back to you. This is my busy season and I have less time to go onto my computer. It sounds like you have enough spacing for the tree to grow. I often use Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar as a specimen tree by a pool waterfall since they are a beautiful tree and have a graceful cascading appearance. As long as you are giving it adequate space it should grow beautifully. As far as the needles dropping-cedar usually shed needles in late winter/early spring but not like the needles of a white pine so it really doesn't create a mess. Hope this helps.

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  22. Hi, I'm glad I found your site. We have what I believe is a blue atlas weeping cedar. It was planted about 5 or 6 years ago, but the guys that put it in faced it so it is now starting to encroach the side walk. They should have turned it, but too late now. I was wonder if I can trim it back or how to do it. I would hate to damage it. Can I send a picture to you for a suggestion? Thanks!

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  23. You can trim the branch that is getting too large but do not chop the whole piece off. Prune it up a little to where new shoots are coming out to encourage the new growth to go in a different direction. Sure you can send me a picture.

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  24. I bought and planted a young, rather sad-looking Blue Atlas Weeping Fir in June of this year. It had very few leaves (needles)when I planted and staked it, and has basically lost the rest of them. I don't know if it's dead, or just dormant. There are still a few leaves. Is it a lost cause

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  25. Hi Kathyrn,

    It doesn't sound good but give it a chance through the winter and perhaps it may come back in spring. It sounds like it has gone into shock. There are treatments on the market for trees in distress. One is called BIO-PAK that contains a yucca and nutrient treatment to help the plant get established and maybe save it. Hope it works for you.

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  26. I just purchased a Weeping Blue and I live in NC. I was told that they do not like a lot of sun. So I was wondering if that was true. I can plant this in several areas at my house I just want the best location.

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  27. Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar thrive in full sun and prefer it so plant away but give it lots of space!

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  28. A very harsh winter here in western Michigan has really taken a toll on my Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar. Mine is about 10 years old and has done great up until this winter. I am hoping for a recovery, 50% of the needles are brown and it just doesn't look very good.

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    1. It was a harsh winter here as well. Try the BioPak Plus or deep root feeding...see post: http://landscapedesignbylee.blogspot.com/2011/02/winter-burn-on-blue-atlas-cedar-and.html#.U1PpFfldV8E for more info. Good luck with your tree.

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Thank you for visiting. I love reading your comments and knowing you have been here, and will try to reciprocate on your blog. If you have any questions I will try my very best to answer them. As always...HAPPY GARDENING!

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