Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar 'Glauca Pendula' (Cedrus atlantica)

tropical_thought(San Francisco)August 8, 2009

I am considering a Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar 'Glauca Pendula' (Cedrus atlantica), but I have a few questions. I need a small one so I can train it. I saw seeds on ebay, are they likely to germinate? I can get a tiny one in a four inch pot online. I like the idea of it growing 6 to 8 ft, I can't not decide on between a 6 or 8 ft stake and then hanging down like a waterfall. I know they need good drainage. I have all sand soil, which I am amending with compost, no clay at all. Should I try to order one at a nursery or buy the 4 inch pot online, should I try the seeds?

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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

I just noticed the seeds on ebay are not weeping ones. It may be hard to find the correct plant. Any shopping suggestions?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 1:02PM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

I never see this conifer for sale in nursery's under 5 ft.

The reason being a small immature specimen wouldn't be as striking as a more mature one that has developed character.

Each one is different in character and more suitable for sale if 5ft. or larger so I am told.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 3:26PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

The ones I saw were like four feet, but they had been trained into a curved pattern, that I did not find desirable.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 3:52PM
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firefightergardener(7/8)

There is a nursery near my place that sells them in 1-gallon pots, about 24" of growth(straight staked up). I think if you search hard you can find one. Like Dave said though, those are the minority - most people, casual gardens at best, like more of a finished product then a little sappling.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 4:29PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

The local nursery said they could order a bonsai start, but they are not sure if that can grow into a tree.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 1:05AM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

I found a weeping blue pine tree that comes in a one gallon.

Here is a link that might be useful: Weeping blue pine tree for sale

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 1:28AM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

There is actually the tree I wanted here in a four inch pot or a one gallon, but maybe I want a dwarf tree instead. I have to think it over some more.

Here is a link that might be useful: Weeping blue atlas cedar

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 1:33AM
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firefightergardener(7/8)

Yep. Picea pungens 'The Blues'. Not the specimen in that link is probably 10-15 years old, at least. Beautiful spruce though. If you're really in zone 10 though that's not good.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 4:18AM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Tropical,

The name Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca Pendula' was used in the past.
Now it's renamed in Cedrus libani 'Glauca Pendula'.
The true name is Cedrus libani subspecie atlantica 'Glauca Pendula'.

Picea pungens 'The Blues' is not a pine but a spruce.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 5:11AM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

I noticed the two names of the cedar, thanks for telling me they are the same. I knew the pine was a pine however, I was surprised to find that website. It only came up when I searched for dwarf conifer, and not when I searched for
Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca Pendula' I had accidentally discovered a large number of dward conifer, and I thought mugo pine was the only one. Now, I am considering a tree that gets only 4 feet tall if I can find that. Many are very limited and that site is only wholesale. I do have limited space, so I don't want a full size upright, not to mention the cost of pruning. How much maintaniers for a tree man does the Weeping Blue Atlas Ceder and Pine take? The pine looks smaller.

Here is a link that might be useful: Many Dwarf trees here

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 5:27AM
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firefightergardener(7/8)

There are several *THOUSAND* different types of dwarf, miniature and upright conifers. Miniatures are usually classified as a growth rate of one inch(maybe 1.5) a year or less. Dwarves are six inches a year or less and then some catagorize intermidiates as six to ten or twelve inches a year. Many conifers grow in excess of a foot a year.

Where do you live? I'm sure there are a lot of friendly people on this forum who would be glad to recommend some conifer cultivars - me amongst them. We just need to know what kind of weather you get year round to make wise suggestions.

In particular, it won't be hard to find hundreds of conifer options for plants that won't get larger then 4'x4'.
Where

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 6:16PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

I live in San Francisco, if you click on my profile, it says San Francisco. I had to type that into the about me. There is also a link to my home page with a link to flickr and my garden photos. I don't want the tree to be too wide as it four feet. I want it to look like a small tree, so I can put Christmas lights on it. I took out my lawn and now I have a big space in which I can put some kind of conifer.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 8:59PM
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firefightergardener(7/8)

Many dwarf and miniature conifers are 'globes' and 'mounds'.

Finding dwarf and miniature conifers that look like standard 'species' trees, ie. Christmas trees may take a bit more work.

Your zone is a very moderate one, so I think for the most part you can grow any conifer.

There are some dozen or more picture threads on this forum with hundreds of conifer cultivar types. You could use them for a visual search.

I've attached a recent link to one of them, Abies koreana cultivars.

Off the top of my head, I think I can recommend a few:

Abies koreana 'Gait' - which may eventually be taller then four feet tall but probably about 2' wide.

Picea glauca 'Pixie' - A small green conical tree. Might be too small at first, perhaps 3' tall by 1' wide in 20 years?

Picea pungens 'Donna's Rainbow' - Harder to find but a very nice plant. Dense, blue, upright dwarf. Again, taller then 4' in very old age, but for a long time it would work well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Abies koreana cultivars

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 4:30AM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

Thanks any of those trees would be good. I will make a note of them. I am going to put it near the deck, so I don't want one that would have a branches over hanging the deck or a fire danger problem. I never knew they could be so small. If it's near to the deck it would easier to run a cord out for Christmas lights, but maybe I can get solar powered ones? That should be the new thing in lights. But eventually, we are going to remove the deck anyway and make the deck smaller, so I can have more planting room. I like the tiny rock garden trees also, but they are very hard to find, the website said. They look like pin cushions.
We have a lot of Monterrey Pines in San Francisco. They grow very fast and do a lot of damage to sideways the foundations of houses, and they are not very attractively shaped either. They even grow as weeds around here. We also have a lot of Norfolk Island Trees. They are big and people top them, and then they really look terrible. It's hard to see a healthy conifer in my area. The next most popular tree is the some kind of Cypress. I don't think we are as ideal as the Northwest for conifers.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 11:19AM
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firefightergardener(7/8)

Your big 'trouble' temperature zones are below 20 degrees and above 90 on a regular basis(with humidity). If you stay within 20-90 all year you can basically grow 99% of conifer cultivars.

All conifers are potentially flammable, some more then others, but they won't light up instantly from heat or light bulbs.

I did a number of 'reviews' for online conifer nurseries earlier this year. I reviewed about 15 different nurseries that offer hundreds of dwarf and miniature conifers. You can use the search to find the reviews if you want some help.

Will

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 9:27PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

How do I find your reviews? Do you mean you did them for Gardenweb? I see so few conifers in San Francisco expect for the few mentioned. Maybe they need cold winters? We never get much below 32. We also don't grow trees like larch. We have lots of Eucalyptus, which are much more fire hazardous then conifers.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 10:22PM
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firefightergardener(7/8)

If you go to the main conifer forum page and most of the way down, there is an area you can enter search words. Enter a search for 'review' and you'll see at least three of my review threads. I've included one here. I worked hard on them and I think they are a pretty accurate representation of what people can expect from these companies I reviewed.

Hopefully they get you started.

Here is a link that might be useful: Conifer reviews

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 11:10PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

Thanks. I found your reviews. I am glad I am considering a small tree, after I learned that these really do get big. I had seen a small one, but it must have been immature. This tree is growing in the SF Marina district. I am not actually sure of the id.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tropicalthought/3810617501/

Here is a link that might be useful: Weeping blue atlas cedar?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 7:52AM
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gardengal48

Yes, that is only a very young weeping Atlas cedar - the one at my former nursery was only about 10' tall but nearly 25' across and they can get larger - see the link.

There are lots of dwarf conifers that will thrive in your area and I'm surprised you haven't noticed more - an assortment of various conifer species are well represented in gardens in the Bay area. If I were you, I'd look at various pines. Shore pine, Pinus contorta, is native to that area and the cultivar 'Spaan's Dwarf' would work very well for your purposes. Not exactly a precise "Christmas tree" shape, but a small, slow growing tree. And there are many others....dwarf Hinoki cypress could also offer various possibilities. Visit a few local retail garden centers to see what's available.

btw, larches DO grow in your area. Visit the Strybing Arboretum and in particular the Japanese themed gardens to view the range of conifers that will thrive in the Bay area.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 10:12AM
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firefightergardener(7/8)

Yep, you really have a large palate to work with. Simply hundreds or thousands of varieties, whatever you please.

Just keep in mind that trees, and conifers are no exception, keep on growing. Even a nice dwarf conifer that is three foot tall and a foot wide will eventually be 12'x4', whether it takes 20 years or 100 is the question.

Will

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 2:53PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

The website I had looked at said, that some of them would stay 4 ft, but 4 ft is small, but 4 to 6 feet would be a good finished size. I could make do with 12 ft. if they all get that way. I have hopefully 20 more years in this house. We own it. But, of course I want to get the soil improved more before planing a permanent feature.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 5:46PM
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firefightergardener(7/8)

I think I have a couple of suggestions then.

Take a look at

Abies lasiocarpa v. arizonica 'Glauca compacta'
Abies concolor 'Archer's Dwarf'
Abies koreana 'Blaue Pfiff'
Abies koreana 'Gait'
Picea pungens 'Donna's Rainbow'

I think all five of these would be under 12' in 20 years and most would be between 2-5' wide in 20 years.

Please note that all of these will be hard to find, and even harder to find over 2-3' tall. They won't be cheap either.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 6:54PM
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