How California incense-cedar is grown
The California incense-cedar (Calocedrus decurrens (Torr.) Florin) is a species of conifer native to western North America.
This plant, in the areas of origin, forms woods in the mountains in association with the Lawson Cypress, the Douglas fir, the sequoias and various broad-leaved trees. In Europe it was introduced in the mid-nineteenth century for ornamental purposes.
The reproductive structures are: some male cones are yellow, small and terminal; the female ones, lateral, turn into ovoid-elongated galbuli (2.5 cm), red-brown when ripe, which have 6 scales.
The California incense-cedar is a plant that adapts to various types of soil, both calcareous and highly acidic, composed of coarse sand or fine clay. It tolerates shady, even dense areas very well. It grows in very different conditions, with dry summers and rainfall from 500 to 2000 mm per year and extremes of temperature from -35 ° to 48 ° C.
This plant prefers an exposure in which it receives direct radiation only in the hours when the sun is less hot.
The plant should therefore be planted in a semi-shaded place, especially in the hottest places on the peninsula; generally these plants can tolerate adverse climatic conditions without problems, such as scorching heat and severe winter cold.
As for the humidity to be maintained, Calocedrus decurrens is satisfied with the rains, enduring even long periods of drought without problems; in the case of newly planted trees, sporadic irrigation is however recommended during the summer. If the drought continues for a long time, it would be good to provide water to support the growth of the plant.
As far as the soil conditions are concerned, it is a plant that grows best in deep and humus-rich soils, but can bear any type of soil as long as it does not have water stagnation problems. To give an ideal substrate to the specimens grown in the garden, when they are planted, it is good to prepare a mixture composed of sand, peat, soil, pumice and organic fertilizer, so as to provide the right nourishment to the plant.
The California incense-cedar, due to its rusticity, grandeur, symmetry of shape, the intense scent it emanates (incense cedar) and its relative rarity is an element of great value for a large garden.
In the United States, the wood, yellowish-brown, resistant and fragrant, is used in carpentry and in the construction of furniture. Europa is used exclusively as an ornamental species in parks.