Japanese Cedar – January 2013 Tree of the Month

by Ann Farnham, LLA

The Ewing Environmental Commission has chosen the Japanese Cedar, Cryptomeria japonica, as the Ewing Tree of the Month.

Our featured tree is located at a private residence on Bull Run in Ewing. Now measuring approximately 35 to 40 feet tall, it was 3 feet tall when it was planted in 2005. It is a stately, beautiful tree which is useful as a specimen plant.

This pyramidal or conical evergreen, hardy from USDA Hardiness zones 5 to 6 south to zones 8 and 9, is native to China and Japan, but thrives in our area. It can reach 100 feet high by 20 to 30 feet wide, with a medium growth rate. It is easy to grow and thrives in acid, well drained soil in full sun.

As shown in the photograph, the leaves, bright green to bluish-green, are spirally arranged and the branches are wide-spreading. It bears small, round cones which are dark brown and ½ to 1” wide; they are used widely in Christmas decorations. It occasionally is infected with leaf blight and leaf spot.