The Cedar of Lebanon is a large coniferous tree, growing to 40(-60) m and living to well over 500 years. The crown is gaunt and conic at first, rapidly spreading till the short bole bears many huge branches low down, arching and reaching the ground; upper bole dividing to several limbs, upper branches level, and all branches forming extensive flat plates of dense. short, curved vertical shoots; The bark is dark grey smooth at first then shallowly networked with small fissures and short scaly ridges; The leaves on long shoots are 2 cm, slender, curved out, lax; on short shoots to 3 cm, 10-20 in a whorl, dark green, blue green or grey. The cones become barrel shaped to 8 cm, ripening to 9-15 x 6-7 cm. and are purplish grey. It comes from Syria, Lebanon and Turkey and a subspecies is found on Cyprus.
In Britain it was planted at least as early as in 1664 as it is mentioned in a silvicultural book of that date, Sylva, or A Discourse of Forest-Trees and the Propagation of Timber in His Majesty’s Dominions by John Evelyn. It forms a central role in the Epic of Gilgamesh, a Sumerian poem, and is mentioned several times in the Bible. It is our Platinum Jubilee tree and forms part of the Queen’s Green Canopy.