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California Incense Cedar

Calocedrus decurrens

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California Incense Cedar (Calocedrus decurrens) at Rutgers Landscape & Nursery

California Incense Cedar

California Incense Cedar

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

California Incense Cedar (Calocedrus decurrens) at Rutgers Landscape & Nursery

California Incense Cedar foliage

California Incense Cedar foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  60 feet

Spread:  12 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4

Other Names:  Incensecedar


A wonderfully formal looking evergreen with a very upright and narrow habit of growth, both distinctive and beautiful, adaptable to many conditions but does best in areas of high humidity; use as an exclamation point or for a tall screening wall

Ornamental Features

California Incense Cedar has dark green foliage. The fragrant fan-shaped leaves remain dark green throughout the winter. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

California Incense Cedar is an evergreen tree with a narrowly upright and columnar growth habit. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It has no significant negative characteristics.

California Incense Cedar is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Vertical Accent
  • Hedges/Screening

Planting & Growing

California Incense Cedar will grow to be about 60 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live to a ripe old age of 100 years or more; think of this as a heritage tree for future generations!

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in poor soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided. This species is native to parts of North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Articulation  Screening 
Plant Form  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features

Disclaimer - Rutgers Landscape & Nursery Plant Finder is an online resource representing many of the varieties that we carry over the course of the season, and is intended for informational purposes only. Inventory varies seasonally, so we cannot guarantee that every plant will be in stock at all times - please contact Rutgers directly for current availability.