Cedrus deodora 'Aurea' question

ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)July 20, 2013

Wandering through Lowe's (yeah, I'll admit it) and saw a random loner in the midst of the yews and arborvitae that was gold and pretty. I recognized it as Cedrus deodora 'Aurea'.

It had a "non Lowe's" tag - 8 feet tall, $75.

Snag.

So....the zones for this thing are all over the place. I'm reading everything from living happily in 5 to 6b to 7a ...?????

I think they actually have changed Indy to 6 now or something...but whatever. I've been growing 2 (now huge) WBACs in my yard for about 8 years now w/ no issues.

Any chance this will make it or did it just get stuck on the wrong truck and should've ended up down south?

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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Good luck! I say that with sarcasm......

Deodara is zone 7b/8a in my opinion. Resin always talks about the deodara's in Denmark, zone 7 that were killed by a severe winter.

Dax

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 9:56AM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

Well....that sucks. Always google before you throw it in the truck. LOL

It does have a 1 yr guarantee.....I could roll the dice for a year. WHEEEEEEEEE Sure is purty...

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 10:16AM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

Ken...I'm disappointed that you haven't berated me yet...

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 2:42PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

There's more than one upright yellow cultivar. These may vary in hardiness, although where you are it may not make much difference. Are you seeing any larger specimens around there? Here in Zone 8 this species is very common. If it can persist there you can be sure there will be some around.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 10:11PM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

bboy - never received notification that you replied. My apologies. Nope, haven't seen one around here but this is the land of VW sized yews and boxwoods.

If there were ever a test..this winter is it! Bottom half looks fairly normal...top half looks burned. lol May be a disaster.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 4:59PM
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mrgpag

my Hollandia that's been in the ground 4 years looks to be toasted. Devinely Blue lasted about that long as well. Probably should spend my money on something hardier to this area, but they sure are tempting when you see them with their spring flush of growth.

Marshall

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 11:06PM
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rogerzone6

Of course this was the year we decided to plant one in 6B. I had similar questions on this forum but decided to give it a shot based on the 2 mature ones in our neighborhood. Keeping my fingers crossed that the mulch and snow cover get it through this mother of all winters. I don't see any browning yet, but don't know if that means anything

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:12AM
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rogerzone6

Update- I posted this on the trees forum too, but my Fall 2013 planted tree now has more brown needles than green. The bottom still has some green, but frankly I would give it a 50-50 at best. Will have to see how it makes out in the Spring. Is this common in the winter for the Cedar?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 11:42AM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

My WBACs normally get lighter blue in the Winter..but these are looking sad and the are 10ish yrs old. My Aurea is top brown...bottom normal (the part that was covered by snow).

I think the death bells toll....

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 11:47AM
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j0nd03

I am amazed that among all the incredible conifers one can grow up north, the temptation of zone pushing with deodar makes one spend money on a tree that probably isn't hardy. Of course, I am not exempt from my statement either. I have killed 5 picea and one abies since I started gardening a few years ago. I have a few deodars but oh how I yearn to grown all the various abies and picea cultivars and I am sure this is the feeling some of you northerners have with regards to the southern hardy deodars etc. It's just not fair, is it?!

I guess if you really REALLLLY want to grow them all, you have to move the PNW with Will, Mike, Dave and the gang!

Nice to have you posting here again, ademink =) Sorry your baby deodar isn't looking too well at the moment. Here's hoping it surprises you this spring and bounces back!

This post was edited by j0nd03 on Tue, Feb 11, 14 at 12:05

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 12:02PM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

HI j0nd03! :) Thanks for the warm "welcome back!".

It was the Dutch girl in me that made me to it...I love to try to get a bargain and it has a 1 year guarantee...I couldn't help it! lol

After this Winter, I have learned my lesson (she lies), I will stick to my zone for sure! ;D

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 8:04PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

There are a few deodaras around here that have a slight brownish cast, but still appear green deep inside, I presume they will be OK. We've only gotten down near 0 though, not as cold as many of you.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 11:02PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

They can be as green as they want right now and come May/June fool each and every one of us. That's the reality...

Dax

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 7:09AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Looks like I need to go by and check on the one one at my local botanical garden so that I might have something of quality to contribute to this thread. They have one that is probable about 15-18' tall. I have been to -6 a few times, so I would guess that they have been to right around 0 +/- this winter. One day in particular there was a high temperature of 9 degrees (tied the record low high for that particular month). So all that should be pushing the limits of this particular tree. With all that said, it survived colder temps 3 years ago, but had 18" of snow on it at the time that probable made a difference. That has not always been the case this winter. Will add what I see to this thread when I make to check on that tree.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 8:42AM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Dax, you are probably right about them being more 7b, although there are large ones around here that have survived much colder than we have had this year.

However, even here, I am sticking with the known hardier cultivars (Shalimar, Karl Fuchs, Kashmir, etc) just for some extra security.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 8:50AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

I'm talking about Aurea - and more in particular, Cedrus deodara non-hardy forms & more in particular, "anything!"
Especially...anything that size above! And, again anything! ;-)

Dax

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 4:27PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

So I went by today to check to see how this tree has been fairing through the cold of this winter. Overall I would say not too bad. There has obviously been a bit of winter burn, but at this point it hardly seems bad enough to significantly impact the health of this tree. Just for background on this winters conditions. I have been subzero several times at my home, while I'm in a cold spot, this tree will still have experienced near to subzero on those occasions. In addition the coldest day registered a high temperature of just 9F in Jan. That tied the record low high temp for the month of Jan. So this tree IMHO experienced more harsh conditions than many report as it limits. With that said, some consider any damage as not be zone worthy, while others will consider the results as perfect acceptable.

Arktree From Desktop From Desktop From Desktop

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 10:21PM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

Thanks for taking the time to get these for us, Ark!! Beautiful color. Mine is ...uh...brown. LOL I'll have to snap a photo tomorrow!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 10:27PM
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baxz5oh(5)

Well this thread could not have come at a more opportune time. I had a #5 pot Aurea left over from a trade show that I figured would not live in zone 5. So I did not put it in a poly house and it sat outside this winter.

I looked at it yesterday and it had not died yet. Now these great pictures of Aurea that are growing in zone 6?

We will forever be teased and tormented by these zonal anomalies.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 6:41AM
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rogerzone6

I have learned my lesson. Even if miraculously mine comes back in the spring, that is small consolation until the next winter from hell. Eventually the law of averages will catch up over the lifetime of the tree. Better to replace a young tree now if it struggling than wait several years and then have the expense of pulling it out, rootball and all.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 10:29AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

bax,
I consider it Zone 6b. In 3 of the last 5 years I have been VERY SOLIDLY in that range or even colder. Three years ago in Feb 10, 2011 it was -25F at my house. Yes -25F. With this in mind, not a chance in #*^$ I'm going with Zone 7 plants. I'm not even real enthusiastic about Zone 6 plants.

But Arbor Day considers it barely Zone 7, and USDA is all over the place depending upon exact zip code. The thing about the new zone maps (both AD and USDA) the time frame they used were almost entirely within the warm phases (for eastern North America) of known multi-decade oscillations of the Atlantic and Pacific. This IMHO has made these zone maps too warm for the eastern US.

Arktree

This post was edited by arktrees on Mon, Feb 17, 14 at 10:44

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 3:05PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Ark - you said in two paragraphs what I rambled on about for hours a few months ago.

My zone here was 7a before, 7a now, but when I lived in OH - we went from 5b to 6a/b and I never "trusted" it, knowing it had been to -25 just 10 years earlier.

As I said, even here, I'm only really keen on the hardiest deodara cultivars, except maybe the prostrate ones that I could throw some snow or mulch over if I had to.

That said, it depends WHAT zone 7 plants. For woodies, I'd err on the side of caution. For herbaceous and bulbs I'm more willing to take risk, since the ground moderates temperatures for something that dies back to a bulb or root.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 12:06AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

hair,
I assumed woodies since this is the conifer forum. I certainly would plant Zone 7 bulbs, smaller shrubs, etc. Those are easily replaced and quickly regenerate. 10-20 year old prized Pine/Maple/whatever hurts allot more.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 11:14AM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

Update: My 2 WBACs did, indeed, give up the ghost. Pushed out a few little buds but it was a fake out (as Dax said) - trunks were brown through and through. I trimmed off all of the branches and they look like artwork by the pond w/ their cool twisted trunks. Going to string them w/ lights and leave them for now. LOL

The 'Aurea' is still looking perfect on the bottom third. The top 2/3 has tiny golden buds all over it that haven't budged in almost a month. Still just little golden buds. I'm guessing they won't push...correct?

Ditto on my upright blue...buds w/ no pushing.

Ready to dig them out.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 11:16AM
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