How long does it take a cedar tree to grow

How Fast Do Cedar Trees Grow? Average Growth Rates Explained

The giant coniferous cedar trees (Cedrus), which can reach 180 feet easily, take their time to reach that height.

Native to the Himalayas and the mountains of the Mediterranean, the tree grows best at high altitudes.

If you’re worried that your cedar tree isn’t growing at the rate you expect, the growing conditions around the tree might be behind this slow growth rate.

How fast do cedar trees grow? In ideal conditions, a cedar tree will grow about 25 inches per year. However, it’s common for cedars to only grow 12 to 15 inches yearly. It largely depends on the variety of cedar and growing conditions. High temperatures can impede growth as well.

Not all cedar varieties grow at the same pace or reach the same height at maturity. Read on to find out how to keep your cedar tree growing at the expected rate.

Cedar Tree Growth Rate

The word “cedar” has been used with many plants, even those that don’t actually belong to the Cedrus genus.

Western red cedar (Thuja plicata) and Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) are two examples of species that are not even remotely related to cedars despite the confusing name.

That means that unless your tree is a true cedar, it will not have the fast growth rates that you expect. Before you buy the cedar sapling, make sure it’s not a false cedar.

Average Cedar Tree Growth Rate

Once you have planted the cedar tree and its roots are established, you can expect it to grow around 25 inches every year, but that rate is not set in stone.

It’s common to see your cedar growing from 12 to 20 inches per year on average. Even true cedar varieties have varying growth rates.

If two different cedar species are growing in the same spot, one could grow at a 20-inch-per-year pace while the other would take its time growing only 12 inches every year.

Factors That Affect Cedar Tree Growth

A slow-growing cedar is not a cause for concern unless the tree appears to be stunted. In that case, you should look for factors such as air and soil temperature, fertilizer, and watering patterns. 

  • Temperature: As trees that grow best in the mountains, cedars are used to freezing temperatures in the winter. The cold-hardy cedars have a low tolerance to high temperatures that could lead to their demise.
  • Fertilizer: For the cedar to grow at 25 inches a year, it needs constant feeding. Apply a high-nitrogen fertilizer with an 18-8-8 label from the early spring onwards. Water immediately after each application to prevent root burn.
  • Water: The young cedar tree needs regular watering. However, you should allow the soil to dry out between irrigations. Mulching can help with water retention, especially in the summer. Make sure the mulch doesn’t touch the trunk.

Growth Rate of Common Cedar Trees

Common Questions About Cedar Trees

Are Cedar Trees Evergreen?

Cedar trees are coniferous evergreen trees with lush foliage that doesn’t change color across seasons.

However, the color of the needle-like leaves varies depending on how thick the resinous layer is that covers them.

Thin resin leads to bright green leaves. If the foliage is bluish-green, that means the leaves are covered with a thick layer of wax.

How Tall Do Cedar Trees Grow?

Cedar trees are giants among other coniferous trees. A true cedar can reach 180 feet tall. However, the average height of the cedar tree is between 60 to 120 feet.

False cedars vary in height depending on their species. Since the cedar tree grows at a rate of 12-24 inches a year on average, it would take the tree many years to reach its maximum height. 

How Long Do Cedar Trees Last?

Cedars are known for their longevity. They take years to reach maturity, which means they will live for centuries.

The average lifespan of the true cedar is around 300 years or longer. Some Lebanon cedar trees can live up to 1,000 years. 

Where Do Cedar Trees Grow?

True cedar trees (Cedrus genus) grow mainly in the mountains of the Mediterranean as well as the Himalayas. They thrive in high altitudes and are hardy to cold or even freezing conditions.

The species that grow in North America with “cedar” in the title are faux cedars, but they are hardy to Zones 2-9.

True Cedar vs. False Cedar

True cedars are those species that belong to the Cedrus genus. They are not native to North America.

In fact, they only grow in the eastern Mediterranean in the mountains of Lebanon and the Himalayas. They reach heights between 120 and 180 feet and live for hundreds of years. Their cones are barrel-shaped.

False cedars are trees that have nothing to do with the Cedrus genus. Many of the “cedars” that grow in North America are false cedars. They vary in height and growth rate as well as the cones they produce. 

How Big Do Cedar Trees Get?

Cedar trees are giants that require a lot of space. They average between 60 to 180 feet tall and around 35 feet wide.

That makes them suitable as border trees and as windbreakers. If you have a small yard, the cedar tree is not the ideal choice to grow. 

Do Cedar Trees Have Deep Roots?

For being such tall trees, cedars have relatively shallow root systems. The average depth the roots will reach is between 6 to 8 feet. 


Cedar trees grow on average between 12 to 24 inches a year. Make sure they’re well fed and watered to keep them growing at this rate.

True cedars are native to the Himalayas and the eastern regions of the Mediterranean. The “cedars” growing in North America are false cedars.

Did You Know How Fast Do Cedar Trees Grow? -

  •  Anna Martin
  •   Plants & Trees

Cedar trees are known for their majestic appearance, moderately rapid growth rate and fairly long lifespan. Owing to its large size, it is not very often that you find this evergreen tree in a residential garden. However, cedar trees are an excellent choice for windbreaks, privacy screens or hedges on larger properties.


If you are planning to add this stately species to your yard, we have some great news! Other than looking simply stunning throughout the year, cedars are quite hardy and trouble-free. But before making up your mind to plant a variety of cedar tree, you’d probably like to know how long you may have to wait to see it reach its magnificent size and form.


Jump To

  • True Cedar Vs. False Cedar
  • Factors That Affect Cedar Tree Growth
  • Cedar Trees Growth Rate
  • How To Make Cedar Trees Grow Faster?
  • FAQs


Keep reading to find out more about how fast do cedar trees grow per year.


True Cedar vs. False Cedar

Let us first find out a little more about this amazing tree. Did you know that not all trees that are commonly referred to as cedars are true cedars? In fact, true Cedar and false cedars actually belong to a different genus.


True Cedar

True Cedar species belong to the Cedrus genus. These are not native to North America and hail from various regions including the eastern Mediterranean, Himalayas, North Africa and Lebanon.


However, 3 true cedar species (Atlas cedar, Deodar cedar and Cedar of Lebonan) can be grown in some North American regions. True cedars bear large, barrel-shaped cones and have evergreen needles that grow in clusters on woody spurs.


False Cedar

Most of the cedars found in North America are faux cedars and are a part of the family Cupressaceae (Cypress). False cedars bear small cones and have feather-like leaves that are soft and scaly. Examples of false cedar are western red cedar and Eastern red Cedar.


Factors That Affect Cedar Trees Growth Rate

The growth rate of a cedar tree largely depends on its variety and Cedar care. However, there are a few other factors that may play a role in determining how quickly do cedar trees grow.


1. Temperature

While some Cedar varieties are impressively cold hardy, others can tolerate heat pretty well. For a healthy growth rate, it is best to choose a cedar variety that will do well in your region.


2. Soil

Cedar trees thrive in moist, rich and well-drained soils.


3. Fertilizer

Feeding your cedar tree high-nitrogen fertilizer in the growing season may help boost the growth rate of cedars.


4. Water

Adequate watering can also affect how quickly do cedar trees grow. Young trees may require more watering. Once the tree is established, let the soil dry out between watering sessions.


5. Variety

Different types of cedar trees have different growth rates. While varieties like Blue atlas cedar, Western red cedar and Incense cedar have a moderately fast growth rate, others like Weeping cider, White cider and Cyprus cedar are slow growers.


How Fast Do Cedar Trees Grow?

Depending upon its variety and a few other factors, a cedar tree can live and grow anywhere between 10 to 25 inches per year. Here’s an account of annual cedar trees growth rate.


1. Eastern red cedar growth rate

An Eastern red cedar tree has a medium growth rate and can grow anywhere between 12 to 24 inches in a year.


2. Western red cedar growth rate

The growth rate of a Western red cedar tree is around 24 inches (or more) per year. This variety has a fast annual growth rate.


3. Deodar cedar growth rate

This variety of cedar trees has a medium growth rate of 13 to 24 inches per year.


4. White cedar growth rate

The white cedar has a slow to medium growth rate. Given optimal conditions, this cedar variety can grow up to 13 to 24 inches per year.


5. Blue atlas cedar growth rate

With a fast growth rate, the blue atlas cedar can grow anywhere between 12 to 24 inches in one year.


6. Eastern white cedar growth rate

The eastern white cedar has a moderate growth rate of 13 to 24 inches.



Black cedar growth rate

Under ideal conditions, this cedar variety can add anywhere between 13 to 24 inches to its height in a year.


8. Brandon cedar growth rate

Brandon cedar can grow up to 1 foot (or more) per year.


9. Skybound cedar growth rate

This hardy cedar variety has a growth rate of between 1 to 2 feet per year.


10. Weeping cedar growth rate

This slow-growing cedar grows at the rate of 1 foot per year. It is a slow-growing cedar variety.


11. Brodie cedar growth rate

The average growth rate of Brodie cedar is around 2 feet per year.


12. Japanese cedar growth rate

This fast-growing cedar has an annual growth rate of about 2 to 3 feet.


How To Make Cedar Trees Grow Faster?

Now that you know how fast do cedar trees grow, let’s find out if there is anything we can do to make a cedar tree grow faster. The key to increasing the cedar tree growth rate is choosing the right variety according to your location and providing the tree with optimal care. These tips can help you boost the growth of your cedar tree:

  • Keep a layer of mulch (around 5 cm) around the cedar tree to keep away weeds and avoid moisture loss. However, make sure that the mulch does not touch the tree trunk.
  • Add nitrogen-rich fertilizer, preferably in early spring.
  • Make sure to water your young cedar tree more often.
  • Make sure to plant your cedar in an area that receives full sun. cedar trees thrive in full sun to partial shade.
  • Shelter your tree from strong winds, especially until it’s established.
  • Light, more frequent pruning will keep your cedar healthy.
  • Prune dead or diseased branches as soon as you spot them.
  • Although cedars are fairly sturdy, be on the lookout for insect infestations and act immediately if you spot one.


Facts and Questions

Q1. How long does it take for a cedar tree to mature?

Ans. On an average, cedar trees can grow up to be between 60 to 180 feet tall. However, a few varieties may grow even taller. The time a cedar tree takes to mature depends on various factors including the type of cedar, location, growing conditions etc.


While varieties with fast cedar trees growth rate may take 25 to 30 years to reach full size, others may take just 10 to 15 years. Also, the growth rate of a tree slows down as it ages.


Q2. Are cedar trees valuable?

Ans. Yes. Cedar wood is weather, bug and rot resistant and is commonly used for making furniture as well as building products like siding, window trim, panelling, beams etc. Mulch made from cedar wood and bark is commonly used in gardens.


Q3. Do cedar trees keep bugs away?

Ans. Yes. Cedar trees, or more specifically, cedar wood has the power to keep away bugs through releasing chemicals, oils and a strong aroma (which, by the way, is quite pleasant!). Thujone is the main bug and insect-repelling chemical released by Cedar.


Q4. How Tall Do Cedar Trees Grow?

Ans. On an average, cedar trees can grow up to be anywhere from 50 to 180 feet upon reaching maturity, depending upon their variety, growing conditions, location etc.


Q5. Which is the fastest-growing Cedar tree?

Ans. Varieties like Blue Atlas Cedar, Western Red Cedar, Deodar Cedar, Incense Cedar, and Thuja Green Giant belong to the category with fast cedar trees growth rate and can grow up to 2 feet (or more) per year.


Q6. Where do cedar trees grow best?

Ans. Providing the right growing conditions can affect how fast do cedar trees grow per year. Cedar trees usually grow best in spacious areas with moist, well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade.


Growth of cedar - Nursery "Kedr18"

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How fast do spruce, pine, CEDAR, thuja and other conifers grow.

People often ask me questions:
How fast do cedars grow? What is their annual growth rate? What can be done to make cedars, pines, spruce, arborvitae and other conifers grow quickly?

In this article, we will consider the main factors affecting the annual growth of coniferous (and not only) seedlings, see photos of large growths and hold a small competition with prizes from our nursery "Kedr18" in order to determine the MAIN factors for the successful growth of seedlings.

So let's take as an example: growth per year is 20 cm, is it a lot or a little?

For a cedar tree 20 cm in size, this is a lot, in fact it is a 100% increase per year and at an older age, 100% growth is almost never found, and an annual increase of 20 cm, for a cedar tree 2.0 m high, is not much at all

BUT, if a small seedling gives an increase in ONE central and SEVERAL lateral branches, then a more mature tree can give a smaller increase in LENGTH, but thousands of times more in number and volume!

Therefore, to assess the growth of a seedling, it is more correct to look not only at the length of growth, but also: the splendor of the crown, the thickness of the trunk, the color of the needles, the condition of the buds, root ball, the structure of the upper fertile layer of the earth, etc. etc. More in the newsletter: Gifts from the nursery "Kedr18"

Let's consider the annual gains on practical examples from our nursery "Kedr18":

Above average example: the cedar tree was about 15cm high and added 15cm in spring and 15cm in autumn!

The presence of the autumn-second! growth per year - indicates that the tree is in a favorable environment and is developing powerfully

Another photo of cedars with autumn growth:

90% cedar seedlings! And the question arises:

QUESTION №1: What other trees and under what conditions give two growths per year: in spring and autumn? I propose to discuss it in the comments to the article.

Another example: a pine tree was about 0.8m long and added more than 1m in a year!

There are also seedlings with an increase of only a couple of mm per year - there are not many of them at all.

As a result, the growth for the year can be: 2mm, and 1m or more, and it can also be on several branches or throughout the crown!!!

This photo clearly shows that not only the size of the increase matters

At the same time, please PLEASE NOTE that the average increase in another area, as a rule, will not tell you anything - the conditions in your particular place will be COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!

So what affects the annual growth of seedlings?

I will list the main factors:

- the quality of the seedling itself,
- the amount of damage to the roots and top during digging, delivery and planting (especially noticeable in the first year or two),
- climatic conditions in the region as a whole and in a particular year!
- general properties of the soil (for example, on clay and with stones, they grow more slowly),
- fertile properties of the soil (an inexhaustible topic for discussion),
- organization of care for seedlings: watering, weeding, "fertilizers", etc. (topic for the following issues),
- air humidity, energy of the landing site,
- the presence of incompatible plants nearby,
- the presence of plants with insect pests nearby,
- the presence of other pests, such as moles,
and many more, factors unknown to us!

What should gardeners do in the first place?
The answer is simple: improve the main factors, if possible, and carefully look at the result - if you do the right things, the growth will be large. in the top three in terms of importance! - what is this factor?

To the one who is the first to write this important factor in the rapid growth of trees in the comments to this article, I will give a special prize from our nursery, to choose from: a book about cedar and its beneficial properties (we will send it by mail) or a 15% discount on ordering seedlings.

So we read the correct answer in the comments below, and of course I invite readers to share their experience in growing trees, I think together we will name many more important factors for large growths of coniferous seedlings in more detail, to find out what to do so that the annual growth is maximum and the seedlings have a second-autumn growth for the year, we will consider in the following articles.


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How much the cedar grows: features and various facts

Cedar forests from time immemorial attracted the attention of researchers and businessmen as lands rich in living creatures and fruits. The first Russian settlements in Siberia were built near the cedar forests scattered along the banks of the rivers, as the settlers quickly penetrated and recognized the value of these trees. The royal decree of 1683 contained clauses on the special protection of cedar forests, where sable fishing was carried out. At present, they continue to be of great importance for the natural economy of the country and represent the most complex and productive ecosystems. As part of the article, we will consider how much the cedar grows before fruiting, and also touch on the features of this period.

Cedar pines

In Russia, real cedars can be found extremely rarely, as they are very heat-loving plants and are common in subtropical latitudes. Trees that most people mistake for cedars are actually cedar pines, which are one family with great relatives. In nature, they have quite a few varieties, but only three species grow on Russian territory: Korean cedar, dwarf pine and Siberian cedar. The latter is the main nut breed and has the widest distribution. Its range covers areas with a variety of climatic conditions: Eastern and Western Siberia, the middle and northern Urals, regions of the European part of Russia.

Siberian cedar pine is a majestic representative of coniferous trees, which has a wide variety of decorative forms. This tree belongs to the shade-tolerant species and tolerates the severity of low temperatures well. It is among the centenarians (400-500 years) and is slowly growing. How long it takes a cedar to grow up is clearly demonstrated by the first fruits that appear under favorable conditions only for 40-70 years of life. But the breeders managed to achieve results and reduce the time to the first fruiting.

How many years the Siberian cedar has been growing

Mature cedar pines, like trees of the first magnitude, are distinguished by a dense luxurious crown with impressive large branches. Their height can reach up to 45 meters, and the thickness of the trunk in diameter - up to 2 meters. Cedars come to maturity very slowly. The first whorls of their branches occur only at the age of 6-7, at which the height of the tree barely reaches 30 centimeters. Starting from the age of 20, its growth is activated, annual growth increases and reaches 35 centimeters per year.

Light conditions and a number of other factors will determine how long the cedar grows and how long it takes to bear fruit. In the forest for the first 70-100 years, it stays under a canopy of dominant deciduous trees (often birch and aspen), so strong shading is the reason for its late maturation. At the same time, in open spaces, the period of fruitfulness of cedar can begin as early as 20-40 years.

Features of fruiting

Scientists have studied the features of fruiting Siberian pine. Her male inflorescences begin to form on branches in the middle part of the crown, and female ones on large upper branches. When ripe, the pollen is carried by the wind to the female cone, which by autumn reaches the size of a hazelnut and remains unfertilized until the next year. Intensive development of the cone occurs after fertilization in June of the second year. Its color begins to change from purple to dark brown, which indicates the stage of seed ripening, which ends by early September. The entire cycle of a cedar cone (how much it grows until it is fully ripe) takes 18 months.

It is interesting to note that female cones change their color several times during the entire period of development. During flowering, they look pinkish, then turn into raspberry, cones winter already with a cream color. During the period of active growth, they show rich purple tones, and at the final stage, when the seeds ripen, the color is transformed into a light and dark brown hue.

Fruiting factors of cedar

How much cedar grows before the first cone depends on many conditions. The primary role in this matter will be played by factors of an internal order: the specifics of the growth and development of the tree itself, its initial years of life. Further, nutrition, the environment, climatic soil factors, the position in the canopy of trees, and the density of the forest stand (if the cedar is in the forest) are of no small importance. Together, these reasons make the final verdict of the time of the first fruits of the tree and its subsequent yield.

Thus, being in natural conditions, the cedar pine during its maturation is in a state of continuous struggle and competition with other trees. As a result, its fruitfulness comes later than that of its counterparts on the site.

Siberian cedar cones

Being a fruit tree, cedar is classified as a late-ripening plant, by November its ripe cones begin to fall off. Their sizes are quite large and can reach a length of up to 15 centimeters. A mature cone has a dry and non-resinous surface of woody scales that are easily separated from each other. Siberian cedar seeds have a round-elongated shape and a relatively small size (in mass no more than 230-250 mg).

The size of the cones is closely related to the age of the cedar and the yield of cones on it. In most trees, the first decades of fruiting are characterized by a small number of cones, but they are quite large. The number and size of fruits give an idea of ​​how much the cedar grows, about the period of its maturity. At a venerable age, by the time of sunset, the fruitfulness of the tree decreases, its cones begin to shrink.

Fruiting of Korean cedar and Siberian dwarf pine

Korean cedar is recognized as a symbol of the vegetation of the Primorsky Territory and is of great value for the national economy of the region. Its fruiting is not much different from the Siberian relative. In natural nature, it begins at the age of 50-60, with cultural cultivation much earlier. Ripened cones are quite large, on average their length is 17 centimeters, and the size of the seeds reaches 2 centimeters.

Pine elfin is a branched coniferous shrub with widely spread branches, which is distributed in the north-eastern territories of Russia. Its fruiting begins at the age of 20-30 and continues until the very death, which occurs at 200-250 years. Pine dwarf cones are smaller than Siberian cedar cones; on average, their length is only 4 centimeters. Ripe, they remain on the branches and partially fall off in winter. The seeds are oval-irregular in shape and can be up to 0.8 cm long. Cedar elfin is completely undemanding to the soil environment and grows in the most severe and difficult conditions.

Fruiting of cultivated plantings

Cultivation of cedar pine in a park or on a plot significantly accelerates the onset of fruiting time. Planting and caring for a tree is of great importance. It is from the conditions created that it will depend on how many years the cedar grows to cones. As a rule, "domesticated" plantings are not long in coming, the first fruits appear in 15-20 years.

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