Blue atlas cedar weeping

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar foliage

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height: 15 feet

Spread: 30 feet


Hardiness Zone: 6a


A true accent piece, featuring a sprawling, horizontal habit of growth, certainly not for every landscape but very effective in the hands of a good designer; silvery-blue needles provide intense color all year round

Ornamental Features

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar has attractive blue foliage. The needles are highly ornamental and remain blue throughout the winter. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar is an open multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a rounded form and gracefully weeping branches. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and usually looks its best without pruning, although it will tolerate pruning. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar will grow to be about 15 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 30 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live to a ripe old age of 100 years or more; think of this as a heritage shrub for future generations!

This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar ‘Glauca Pendula’

View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Unknown – Tell us

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:



15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown – Tell us


Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:

Unknown – Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown – Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From leaf cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Unknown – Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Anderson, California

Carlsbad, California

Dana Point, California

San Jose, California

San Leandro, California

Stanford, California

Denver, Colorado

Oxford, Connecticut

Calhoun, Georgia

Louisville, Kentucky

Bishopville, Maryland

Kensington, Maryland

Upper Marlboro, Maryland

Lexington, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grandview, Missouri

Saint Louis, Missouri

Carson City, Nevada

Reno, Nevada

Bedford, New York

Cleveland, Ohio

Mansfield, Ohio

Beaverton, Oregon

Roseburg, Oregon

Flourtown, Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Schwenksville, Pennsylvania

Clover, South Carolina

Lexington, South Carolina

Dallas, Texas

American Fork, Utah

Lexington, Virginia

Lovettsville, Virginia

Mukilteo, Washington

Port Townsend, Washington(2 reports)

Sequim, Washington

show all

Blue Atlas Cedar

How George the Spore Met His Other Half: Still a Better Love Story than Twilight

Once upon a time, on a blue atlas cedar far, far away, there lived a little pollen grain named George the Spore. George was a happy little pollen grain, who lived in a cozy little staminate cone with all of his many brothers, as well as the father microsporocytes. Yes, there were only dads, but we live in a progressive society, so that’s okay.

George was an adventurous pollen grain, but there wasn’t much to see or do in the microsporangium that he called home. One day, when he was particularly sick of hanging out with his brothers, he decided to pay a visit to the oldest and wisest father microsporocyte. (This microsporocyte was so old because he lacked an enzyme for meiosis, which prevented him from turning into a tetrad of haploid microspores.)

“O Wise One,” said George, “What is the meaning of life?”

The Wise One adjusted his nonexistent spectacles and said, “George, dear child, some say there is no meaning of life. Others say the meaning of life is to find the meaning of life. But let me tell you a secret: you have a purpose.”

“I do?” asked George.

“You do,” said the Wise One. “Come with me. I have something to show you.”

So little George tottered behind the elder until they reached the very edge of their pollen scale. This was also the very edge of George’s world.

“Take a look, George.”

George peered over the top and gasped. The view outside was beautiful: not far away, the blue-green needles of the cedar were rustling quietly in the wind. Beyond them, the blue, blue sky stretched as far as he could see.

“This is your destiny. Your purpose is to leave this cone and find your other half. Do you accept this challenge?”

This all sounded very vague to George. “Sure, but how?” he asked the Wise One.

“It will be a long and arduous journey, son,” the Wise One replied. “You might get lost. You might face obstacles. But you will find her. I believe in you.”

George was baffled, but before he could ask another question, a strong gust of wind lifted him right off the cone, and suddenly he was plummeting to the earth.

“Ahh!” screamed George. “I’m too young to die! I haven’t even fulfilled my purpose yet!”

To George’s surprise, it seemed that an omniscient being–perhaps the author of his story–heard this plea. He was falling slower and slower, heading toward a furry brown mass. He braced himself for impact, but there was no need. The surface he landed on was soft and warm and still.

“Now what?” asked George. He was in a jungle of tall brown fibers, impossible to maneuver. With a sigh, he closed his eyes. There was nothing he could do, so he decided to take a rest and started to doze.

An indeterminate time later, he was awoken by a deafening, “WOOF!”

Abruptly the mass beneath him began to shiver and shake, tipping sideways until George found himself sliding off the vertical precipice and into the air. Not this again, he thought to himself.

The next moment, he was being carried up, up, wheeling toward the sun. Is this all that life is? he wondered to himself. Riding on the winds of chance? Is there even free will?!

Unfortunately for him, the answer to the last question was no, but chance was good to young George, and he alighted on an ovulate cone not long after. Conveniently, the cone also belonged to a blue atlas cedar. Realizing that the integument was the obstacle that he had to surmount, he shimmied his way into an opening: the micropyle. There, his body began to change, and a pollen tube started to emerge from his skin. This was very scary for George, because no one had ever talked to him about puberty.

But in his moment of greatest distress, he remembered back to the conversation he’d had with the Wise One. He had accepted the challenge, he reminded himself, so he had no choice now but to be patient and open-minded.

He waited and waited, because pollen tube growth takes awhile, but at last his patience was rewarded!

On the other side, his other half was waiting: Megan, the megagametophyte.

“What took you so long?” she asked.

“Does it really matter?” said George.

Then their sperm and egg united, and everyone lived happily ever after.

Plant of the Week: Blue Atlas Cedar

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture does not promote, support or recommend plants featured in “Plant of the Week.” Please consult your local Extension office for plants suitable for your region.

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Blue Atlas Cedar
Latin: Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’

Trees of exceptional grace and beauty are a welcome addition to any landscape, but sometimes gardeners forget the operative word is “tree” and put these specimen plants in impossible locations.
One of the plants I frequently see poorly sited is the Blue Atlas Cedar. Because they have such an interesting and picturesque habit while young the tendency is to locate them where they simply do not have enough room to express themselves as they age.
The Blue Atlas Cedar is a stiffly upright tree that is grown widely by West Coast nurseries and is becoming increasingly common in our nurseries. As a youngster the tree is stark — almost looking more like a piece of modern art sculpture than a plant — but eventually it grows into a 60-foot tall tree that can be 35-feet across. So, obviously siting is critical.
The trees are pyramidal while young but with age become flat topped with horizontal branches. The evergreen needles are a light blue gray color, individually 1-inch long but borne on short spurs in tufted clusters. When compared to the closely related Cedar of Lebanon (C. libani) the leaves and upright cones of the Blue Atlas Cedar are smaller.
The Blue Atlas Cedar is native to the Atlas Mountains which form a 12,000-foot wall from west to east across the northwest corner of the African continent in Morocco and Algeria. The Atlas Cedars were not discovered until 1827 when P.B. Webb, an English botanist, visited Tangier and was shown a branch collected by a native from the interior of the range. The trees occur between 4,000 and 7,000 feet and are one of the principle conifers of the mountain range where they occur in widely scattered stands.
The blue color to the leaves is due to a wax deposit which occurs on many species of conifers which grow in areas frequented by severe drought.
In England, this tree is one of the most spectacular trees in many of the old gardens where 100-foot tall specimens are common. It was apparently introduced into cultivation about 1840 and probably made its way to this country about that same time. Several garden forms have been selected including a bizarre weeping form called ‘Glauca Pendula’ which has branches that droop from its few main limbs like icicles from a roof in winter.
In the garden, the Blue Atlas Cedar shows the growth habit of the typical American male, it grows quickly in height, to 20 feet, and then begins to spread out. It is the most cold hardy of the true cedars and will grow as far north as St. Louis and Boston.
The plant grows best in better soils but is not especially finicky about soil type. Once established it has great drought tolerance. Fortunately it also tolerates heat as well as cold and does not seem to resent our summer humidity. It can be grown throughout the state as a landscape specimen but must be situated at least 20 feet away from buildings or its nearest neighbor.

By: Gerald Klingaman, retired
Extension Horticulturist – Ornamentals
Extension News – February 4, 2000

The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture does not maintain lists of retail outlets where these plants can be purchased. Please check your local nursery or other retail outlets to ask about the availability of these plants for your growing area.

Blue Atlas Cedar Tree Information

Blue atlas cedar is a coniferous evergreen. Its scientific name is Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’. Originally introduced into the United States fro Europe in 1845, Blue atlas cedar is a true cedar, unlike red cedar, which is actually a type of juniper. It’s distinctively colored foliage makes it an interesting choice for planting as a specimen tree.

Growth Habits

Blue atlas cedars are slow growing, seldom adding over a foot of new growth in a year. They grow well from USDA hardiness zones 6 through 9. The tree tends to spread and needs considerable room to grow properly. Cold weather can cause winter needle burn, although well established cedars usually recover well.


The leaves of the blue atlas cedar are sprays of blueish-green to silver blue needles no more than 2 inches in length and remain on the tree throughout the year. The male flowers are 2-3 inches long and form on the lower parts of the plant. Larger, purplish, female flowers grow in the top branches, eventually forming dry, scaled cones, between 3-6 inches long, which conceal tiny seeds. The branches of the tree tend to droop, slightly. The bark is brown and smooth, eventually forming a scaly, plate-like surface.


The tree has a spreading, open pyramidal form and can become very massive for a conifer. The average height is between 40 and 60 feet with a maximum width of around 40 feet. The trunk of the tree usually remains straight with branches radiating laterally. Older trees tend to become flat-topped.


Blue atlas cedars grow best in full sun or partial shade. Soil conditions can be clay, loamy or sandy as long as they are well-draining. The tree can be difficult to transplant and should be started from container-grown plants. Protect the blue atlas cedar from windy conditions, particularly when young. The tree looks best when the lower branches are not pruned and are allowed to grow out from the trunk. Somewhat rare, blue atlas cedar can be difficult to find in nurseries and garden centers and may be expensive.


Its interesting form, size and color make the blue atlas cedar a good choice for planting in residential settings such as large lawns and parks. The tree is relatively tolerant of pollution and can handle urban environments.

Blue Atlas Cedars: Caring For A Blue Atlas Cedar In The Garden

The Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica) is a true cedar that takes its name from the Atlas Mountains of Northern Africa, its native range. Blue Atlas (Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’) is among the most popular cedar cultivars in this country, with its beautiful powdery blue needles. The weeping version, ‘Glauca Pendula,’ can be trained to grow like a vast umbrella of tree limbs. Read on for more information about Blue Atlas cedar trees and care.

Blue Atlas Cedar Care

The Blue Atlas cedar is a stately and majestic evergreen with a strong, vertical trunk and open, almost horizontal limbs. With its stiff, blue-green needles, it makes an exceptional specimen tree for big backyards.

Blue Atlas cedar care starts with selecting an appropriate planting location. If you decide to plant a Blue Atlas cedar, give it plenty of room to spread out. The trees don’t thrive in restricted space. They are also most attractive if they have sufficient room for their branches to fully extend and if you don’t remove their lower branches.

Plant these cedars in the sun or in partial shade. They thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 8. In California or Florida, they can also be planted in zone 9.

The trees grow fast at first and then slower as they age. Select a growing site sufficiently large for the tree to get to 60 feet tall and 40 feet wide.

Caring for Weeping Blue Atlas Cedars

Nurseries create weeping Blue Atlas cedar trees by grafting the ‘Glauca Pendula’ cultivar onto the Cedrus atlantica species rootstock. While weeping Blue Atlas cedars have the same powdery blue-green needles as upright Blue Atlas, the branches on the weeping cultivars droop unless you tie them up on stakes.

Planting a weeping Blue Atlas cedar, with its drooping, twisted branches, gives you an unusual and spectacular specimen tree. This cultivar is likely to grow about 10 feet high and twice as wide, depending on how you decide to train it.

Consider planting weeping Blue Atlas cedars in a rock garden. Rather than staking the branches to create a shape, you can allow them to mound and spread.

If you take care when planting, caring for a weeping Blue Atlas cedar should not be too difficult. The trees only require abundant irrigation the first year, and are drought tolerant when mature.

Think through how you want to train the tree before you plant it. You’ll have to stake and train weeping Blue Atlas cedar trees from the time you plant them to create the form you have selected.

For best results, try planting in full sun in well-draining, loamy soil. Feed weeping blue Atlas cedars in early spring with a balanced fertilizer.

Cedrus atlantica, is a true cedar, unlike the many thujas, chamaecyparises and junipers which have cedar as a part of their common name. It is native to the Atlas Mountains of northwest Africa, hence the common name Atlas cedar. This majestic, evergreen conifer is now planted around the world and, in full maturity, exceeds a hundred feet with an almost equal spread. These dimensions render it useful only on larger properties and there is hardly a great house in the UK that is not framed by one of the grand specimens. Fortunately there are many cultivars that have been developed for special characteristics with size being a foremost emphasis. And one of these special cultivars is the Columnar blue atlas cedar, or Cedrus atlantica glauca fastigiata. Not only is this tree prized for it smaller dimensions, making it useful to smaller, urban plots, but it also valued for the bluish cast to the needled foliage and the form, which is a narrow, upright column.

Columnar blue atlas cedar makes a dramatic garden statement, a smokey-blue exclamation point that works as either a specimen or grouped along a drive. In the first ten years this tree, under optimum conditions, will quickly grow 10 to 15 feet tall but only 5 feet wide. But even at full maturity it will only reach 40 feet tall with a 25 to 30 foot spread, a little tall beneath power lines perhaps, but still a comfortable fit for all but the smallest gardens. And being evergreen this beautiful tree with its touch-inviting needles also serves as a perfect privacy screen or small windbreak.

Atlas cedars are tough and trouble free. The extreme age of these trees grown around the world under highly varying conditions is a testament to their vast adaptability. Once established they are drought tolerant and grow well on acid or alkaline soils, and full sun or partial shade. The essential requirement is that they must have good drainage.

Columnar blue atlas cedar may be difficult to find. It certainly won’t be encountered in the big, discount building centers. But it should be available in the more select, connoisseur nurseries and is worth the effort. For restricted spaces or for those situations where a stiffly, formal specimen is desired, the year-round beauty of a Columnar blue atlas cedar is the perfect solution. There is also the beautiful Deodar cedar, Cedrus deodara.

Plant Database


  • native to Atlas Mountains of northwestern Africa
  • zone 6, protected parts of 5

Habit and Form

  • evergreen needle conifer
  • medium-sized tree, 40′ to 60′ tall
  • in optimum conditions can reach up to 100′ tall and 40′ wide
  • pyramidal when young, flat-topped and spreading when mature
  • has stiff, horizontal main branching; branching somewhat sparse, especially when young
  • very interesting and picturesque habit as a mature tree

Summer Foliage

  • needles 0.5″ to 1″ long, slightly curved
  • color varies from green to silvery-blue
  • needles arranged spirally on long shoots and in rosettes on short spur growth
  • new shoots are downy

Autumn Foliage

  • evergreen


  • monoecious male and female cones on same tree
  • male cones 2″ to 3″ long, numerous and primarily on lower part of the tree
  • male flowers shed pollen in fall
  • female flowers are upright and purplish
  • female flowers mostly in the upper parts of a plant


  • cones borne upright along branches
  • 3″ long, rather fat, barrel-shaped
  • cones take two-years to mature


  • gray and smooth for 20 – 30 years
  • eventually developing a plate-like pattern


  • prefers moist, deep soils, but tolerant of dry, sandy soils
  • full sun is best
  • tolerant of pollution, urban conditions
  • difficult to transplant; best as container grown
  • needs protection from sweeping winds
  • will get considerable needle burn and injury during cold winters and when sited poorly in windy locations. Severely winterburned trees generally recover well if established

Landscape Use

  • specimen
  • lawn tree
  • for urban parks


  • lack of dependable cold hardiness in colder parts of zone 5 and colder
  • somewhat rare and expensive to buy
  • difficult to transplant
  • needs adequate space for proper development

ID Features

  • unique branching habit and form
  • spirally-arranged or rosetted needles on spurs
  • persistent barrel-like cones held upright in upper part of tree


  • by seed
  • cultivars are grafted


Collectively, the cultivars of this species are probably grown more commonly than the straight species.

‘Glauca’ – Known as the Blue Atlas Cedar. Most commonly used and more available than the species. Has blue-green needle color. Perhaps more accurately a variety (similar to the Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens var. glauca)). Seedlings grown from blue-needled plants will exhibit a range of needle colors from blue to green.

‘Argentea’ – A selection with very silvery-blue needle color, almost appearing white.

‘Aurea’ and ‘Aurea Robusta’ – Forms with yellowish needles, rarely available and supposedly not strong landscape plants.

‘Glauca Pendula’ – A weeping form with bluish needles. Must be pruned and staked when young to develop a good form and habit. Cascading branches. Typically to 15′ tall, but individual specimens are unique. Very popular and used frequently in modern landscapes, but can appear awkward if employed improperly.

‘Fastigiata’ – An upright form with blue-green needles. ‘Glauca Fastigiata’ is a narrow, columnar selection with gray-blue needles and a mature of width of only 10′.

Atlas Cedar

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Atlas Cedar
G. Lumis

Leaf of Atlas Cedar
G. Lumis

Blue Atlas Cedar
G. Lumis

Scientific Name: Cedrus atlantica (formerly C. libani spp. atlantica)
Other Common Names: n/a

Foliage: Needled Evergreen
Height: 40-60 feet
Spread: 30-40 feet
Shape: Wide pyramidal
Growth Characteristics: Slow- to moderate-growing

The Atlas Cedar, native to North Africa, is a beautifully irregular, wide pyramidal tree that makes an excellent specimen. The most common type planted is the Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’) which has stunning silvery-blue needles. Needles are 3/4 to 1 inch in length. The silhouette is wide and open.

Plant Needs
Zone: 7-10
Light: Full sun to partial shade
Moisture: Tolerates drought, wind and heat in deeper soils
Soil Type: Prefers moist, acid, well-drained soil, but tolerates other soil types

Fertilize with formulations that promote woody, strong growth rather than excessive foliar growth. Pruning longer branches when the tree is young can help it resist heavy snowfalls later in life. Multiple leaders may also have to pruned out. Best planted in large properties.

Can be affected by weevils, borers, root rot, and sapsuckers. Atlas cedar is not particularly cold hardy, but is often sold in marginal climates. As a result, cold damage can be a problem.

How to Take Care of a Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar Tree

The evergreen foliage of an Atlas cedar tree is an excellent sight to behold with its bluish-greenish needles and cascading branches. It sure looks like an eternal waterfall in the garden.

The weeping blue Atlas cedar tree are native to the Atlas Mountains in Algeria and Morocco, hence can withstand heat and drought. They belong best to the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones of 6 through 8.

This tree is also known as the Cedar of Lebanon or Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula,’ they belong to the evergreen conifer tree variety. The graceful branches provide a visual delight to the landscape and are easily cultivated. They are subspecies of C. libani and are stretched face down unless they are appropriately pruned and stacked. The evergreen conifer is low maintenance and also a beautiful piece of nature for any garden; planting it will add to the beauty of the landscape. Let us take a look into the ways to care for these enthralling evergreen conifers.

Planting the Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar Tree

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These trees require ample amount of sunlight with minimal shade. Plant them in an area where they have a leisurely place to grow as they tend to spread in their vicinity. Crowded areas will limit and stunt their growth. Also, do not plant them in passages or walkways as they might obstruct the area. They can stand heat and drought and must be protected from extreme windy conditions. As they are intolerable to be transplanted, they must be purchased in pots. They require well-drained acidic to alkaline soil, they can also grow well in sandy and clay soils. These trees do not grow well in extremely wet soil. So make sure they have an average to dry moisture level.

Pruning the Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar Tree

► They grow up to 10 to 15 feet in height and spread 6 to 10 feet wide, if staked young they can grow up to 40 feet tall.

► Stake them by digging a hole of a 4-by-4-inch post which is approximately 1 foot shorter than the desired height of the tree. Plant the tree in front of the post and tie it up with nylon stockings, nylon stockings give flexibility and do not cut into the trees.

► Prune the extra branches and tie the central leader to the post.

► Design the branches according to your ornamental idea by pruning off the crossing branches and allowing lateral branching.

► If you wish to grow it like an espalier, prune off the lower branches to form a flat bed. Tie the branches to the frame and keep cutting off branches that grow backward and forward.

Pests and Diseases

These evergreen conifers rarely experience any pest and disease problems except for the occasional sapsucker trouble. To rid the tree of this pest, inspect it from time to time for rows of holes in the tree trunk and apply or spray burlap for good riddance. Some other minor care should be taken to prevent scale insects, deodar weevils, tip blight, and root rot. Apart from these, the trees don’t suffer any serious issues regarding pest maintenance.

These trees look attractive with their bluish-green icy needles and are easy to shape and maintain providing an evergreen oasis for the landscape.

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