The Q&A Archives: Blue Atlas Cedar

Question: I am looking for a slower growing tree that I can keep trimmed to 15' tall and 10'wide maximum. Would this tree be a good fit for trimming to keep it smaller?

Answer: Atlas cedar is moderately slow growing but can reach 60' in height and 30' in width at maturity. Keeping it trimmed will keep it under control but you may lose the natural shape of the tree after a few years of pruning. A substitute might be Cedrus libani, or Cedar of Lebanon. This is a very slow growing tree, reaching 15' in 15 years, without pruning. It has a dense, pyramidal growth habit. The cultivar 'Pendula Sargentii' grows even more slowly and has a weeping form, making it a perfect specimen tree in almost any landscape. If Cedar of Lebanon doesn't appeal to you, you might consider a dwarf Alberta spruce. This one is a compact, cone shaped, bushy shrub reaching about 8' tall and 3-5' wide in about 35 years. Hope one of these suggestions is just the right tree for your garden!

Best wishes with your landscape.

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