What Are Some Common Characteristics of Cedar Trees?


A cedar is a large coniferous tree that typically grows in a pyramidal shape. Cedar tree leaves stay green year-round, and some female trees in the species form cones. Cedar tree bark is reddish and aligned in vertical rows with a peeling texture.

Western red cedars grow to over 200 feet tall, and the deodar, Atlas cedar and Atlas blue cedar grow 60 to 70 feet tall in their natural habitats. Young cedar trees become more spare as they grow; they are dense until the crown evolves into a columnar shape. Branches on a cedar are thick and close together with short and thick bristles with leaves that do not fall. Select female cedars, such as the deodar cedar, have 3-inch cones that gradually turn brown as they ripen. Cypress family cedar trees also yield cones in smaller sizes. Other cedars produce berries.

The leaves of a cedar tree are green, except for the blue-green needles of the Blue Atlas cedar. These needles tend to remain green all year long. The leaves of many cedar trees turn a gray-green during the dormant time in the winter, while the Eastern red cedar may turn yellow or brown during the colder months.