Calocedrus decurrens is a genus that brings together five species of evergreen conifers, originating in North America and central-southern Asia; they grow quite slowly and can reach 20-30 meters in height. The stem of the California cedar is erect, broad, with greyish or brown-reddish bark, it tends to peel with the age of the plant; the foliage is dark green, gathered in flattened bunches, it is very aromatic.
The small pine cones remain on the dwarf cedar tree from autumn until late spring, are dark brown, woody and contain winged seeds. The crown is conical in shape, with very short lateral branches. These conifers are very popular as garden plants for easy cultivation.
Calocedrus decurrens or dwarf cedar prefers an exposure in which it receives direct radiation only during the hours when the sun is less warm. Place the specimens of this variety in a semi-shaded place, especially in the hottest parts of the peninsula; in general, calocedrus can easily withstand adverse weather conditions, such as scorching heat and harsh winter cold. For this reason, the California cedar is widespread throughout the peninsula.
As for the supply of water, we can say that, in general, the trees of Calocedrus decurrens are satisfied with the rains, bearing without problems even long periods of drought; in the case of newly planted trees it is advisable to water sporadically during the summer. If the drought lasts for a long time, it would be good to supply water to support the growth of the plant.
Dwarf cedar trees love deep and humus-rich soils, but they can withstand any type of soil, even the common garden soil, as long as it does not have problems with water stagnation. To give an ideal substratum to the specimens grown in the garden, when they are planted, it is good to prepare a mixture composed of sand, peat, soil, pumice and fertilizer, so as to provide the right nourishment to the plant.
The multiplication of Calocedrus decurrens or California cedar occurs by cuttings or by seed, in spring. It is advisable to use a rich and moist soil in which to place the seeds or cuttings, which will be placed in a sheltered place to allow them to develop at their best. Let the new specimens acquire vigor and strength, before planting them in the ground definitively.
California Cedar, Dwarf Cedar - Calocedrus decurrens: Pests and diseases
Generally these trees are rustic and resistant and are not affected by pests or diseases, although they may be infested with cypress aphids.
If you notice any problems, you can rely on the many chemical antiparasitic products on the market, or opt for natural remedies such as an infusion prepared with garlic or nettle, which will be vaporized on the plant to eliminate the problem.
The commercially available chemical products should be used according to criteria, only when strictly necessary and with particular attention to the possible consequences that they may have on the surrounding plants.