The Gymnosperm Database


Trees in Chitral Gol National Park, Pakistan [Vladimir Dinets, 2004.10].


Trees in Chitral Gol National Park, Pakistan [Vladimir Dinets, 2004.10].


Cone and foliage of an ornamental specimen in Seattle [C.J. Earle, 2001.10].


Pollen cone on an ornamental specimen in Seattle [C.J. Earle, 2001.10].


Distribution of Cedrus deodara (Vidakovic 1991).

line drawing

Line drawing; for full size image go to the Flora of China (Wu and Raven 1999).


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Conservation status

Cedrus deodara

(Roxb. ex D. Don) G. Don 1830

Common names

Deodar, Himalaya cedar (Vidakovic 1991).

Taxonomic notes

Syn: C. indica Chambray; Cedrus libani var. deodara Hook. (Vidakovic 1991).


"A tree up to 50 m high and up to 3 m in diameter. Crown conical when young, with drooping leader and branches drooping at the end (Fig. 67), older trees rounded. Branches horizontally arranged, and end of the shoots pendulous. One-year shoots densely pubescent. Needles blue-green, about 30 in a cluster, 3-5 cm long, acuminate. Flowers appear in September and October. Cones solitary or in pairs. ovate or barrel-shaped. 7-10 cm long, 5-6 cm wide, rounded at the apex, bluish when young, reddish-brown when ripe; maturing from September to November; the seed is shed from September to December; seed scales 5-6 cm wide, usually glabrous on the upper side. Seed about 17 mm long, about 6 mm wide; wing large, light brown" (Vidakovic 1991).

Distribution and Ecology

India and Pakistan: W Himal and S slopes of the Hindu Kush (Silba 1986, Vladimir Dinets e-mail 1998.01.02) at 1100-3000 m, "usually on silicate mother rocks. ... The best trees are found on deep, well-drained soils. High atmospheric moisture is favourable. It is tolerant to shade, but young trees are prone to injury from frosts and cold wind" (Vidakovic 1991). It is a component of the temperate forest, usually on north-facing valley slopes, where rainfall ranges from less than 1000 mm per year up to 2500 mm per year, mostly in the form of winter snow. In these forests C. deodara is associated with a wide array of conifers and some broadleaf trees. Species present may include Pinus wallichiana, Taxus baccata, Picea smithiana, Abies spectabilis, and Abies pindrow, as well as species of Quercus, Rhododendron, Acer, Corylus, Aesculus and Betula. At somewhat lower and drier (precipitation less than 1000 mm/year, mostly as snow) elevations it commonly occurs with Pinus gerardiana, Quercus ilex and Juniperus excelsa subsp. polycarpos (Bhattacharyya et al. 1988).

Hardy to Zone 8 (cold hardiness limit between -12.1°C and -6.7°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).

Big tree

Monumental Trees (2011) report, with photographs, a tree in habitat 14.5 meters in girth (approx. 460 cm dbh) and approximately 30 m tall. This is the thickest known tree in the Pinaceae, although larger wood volumes occur in several species (which ones are uncertain since we don't have an accurate volume estimate for this tree; certainly Pseudotsuga menziesii and Picea sitchensis are larger). It occurs in Tolma, state of Uttarakhand, India. I have found no other records for trees in habitat. There are abundant records of ornamental specimens, a few of which are listed here.

Australia212 cm25 mAndrew Tomkins 2014
New Zealand130 cm28.5 mR. VanWijngaarden 2013
Italy (largest in Europe)245 cm45 mSaro Sciuto 2016
USA184 cm29.9 mA. Cowley 1998


Bhattacharyya et al. (1988) report a sample with 900 rings, but provide no further information. A cross-section displayed at the timber museum of F.R.I. Dehra Dun is 280 cm across with 704 rings (Robert Van Pelt e-mail 4-Feb-2004); Bhattacharyya et al. (1988) report this same sample, citing Gamble (1902), as having 660 rings. There is also a recent report of a tree-ring chronology covering 745 years; if based on living trees, this may include the oldest known living C. deodara (Yadav and Bhattacharyya 1992).


Two exploratory studies by Bhattacharyya et al. (1988, 1992) found that samples from sites in India (Kashmir) and western Nepal provided long records, crossdated well, and contained significant variance attributable to climate. A variety of further studies have also been done, mostly by Bhattacharyya and Yadav; for details see the Bibliography of Dendrochronology.


Is an important timber tree in India. In the West, is widely planted as an ornamental in Europe (Vidakovic 1991) and the western U.S.


Vladimir Dinets (email, 2004.11.14) reports that Kalam, in Pakistan's Swat Valley, has a large forest of C. deodara with some Picea smithiana and Pinus wallichiana. He adds that the only other place with a lot of Cedrus is Chitral Gol National Park, a much longer trip from Islamabad. See Dinets (2004) for further detail.



Bhattacharyya, A., V.C. LaMarche Jr., and F.W. Telewski. 1988. Dendrochronological reconnaissance of the conifers of northwest India. Tree-Ring Bulletin 48:21-30. Available online at, accessed 2006.06.14.

Bhattacharyya, A., V.C. LaMarche Jr., and M.K. Hughes. 1992. Tree-ring chronologies from Nepal. Tree-Ring Bulletin 52:59-66. Available online at, accessed 2006.06.14.

Dinets, Vladimir. 2004. Ramadan in Pakistan., accessed 2004.11.28.

Don, G. 1830. Coniferae. Pp. 388 in J.C. Loudon, Hortus Britannicus. A catalogue of all the plants indigenous, cultivated in, or introduced to Britain. Part 1. London: Printed for Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green. Available: Biodiversity Heritage Library, accessed 2012.11.25.

Gamble, J.S. 1902. A manual of Indian timbers. London: Sampsonlow, Marston and Co.

Monumental Trees. 2011. Deodar cedar close to the Tolma in Tolma., accessed 2017.09.04.

Yadav, R.R., and A. Bhattacharyya. 1992. A 745-year chronology of Cedrus deodara from western Himalaya, India. Dendrochronologia 10: 53-61.

See also

Borgaonkar, H.P., Somaru Ram, and A.B. Sikder. 2009. Assessment of tree-ring analysis of high-elevation Cedrus deodara D. Don from Western Himalaya (India) in relation to climate and glacier fluctuations. Dendrochronologia 27(1):59-69.

Last Modified 2017-12-29