Spacing for Planting Incense Cedar Trees

Spacing for Planting Incense Cedar Trees

Incense cedar trees (Calocedrus decurrens), also referred to as the California incense cedars, create fragrant fan-like needles on evergreen branches. This western North American native coniferous tree grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 8, where they could live over 150 decades. This organic conical-shaped tree works as a large shade tree or grouped together as a windbreak. With large trees such as the incense cedar, then it is important to space the trees correctly so that the branches and roots are not crowded.


Incense cedar trees grow slowly while they’re young, but growth speeds up when the roots establish in the planting place. Untrimmed, the incense cedar trees just reach 15 to 20 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet wide in ten decades. Eventually the trees hit 40 to 70 feet tall with age, growing 12 to 24 inches each year. With selective pruning, these trees may be kept smaller. To develop the cedars for their entire dimensions, space the trees according to their adult height.

Specimen Tree

Single incense cedar trees need at least 5 feet of clear space around the trunk, free of shrubs and small trees, since plants around the base of the cedar compete with the tree for nutrients and moisture. If planting near a water feature in the landscape, keep the tree at least 3 feet away, because the dirt is too waterlogged in these areas and the trees do not survive in moist soil. Do not find incense cedar tree under wires, near building foundations or above underground pipes. The best site is located in full to partial sunlight with regular soil. Incense cedar trees tolerate poor soil and dry growing conditions.

Grove Planting

Cedar trees grow well when planted in a grove to get a woodland appearance. Each tree requires 10 to 14 feet of space between the trees. The rows of incense cedar trees need 12 to 18 feet space, or the space needed to mow between the trees. While planting the cedar seedlings, the roots must be kept moist and implanted in holes that are big enough to hold the roots when they’re spread out naturally, so they do not point upward. Organic mulch, such as shredded bark or pine straw, will reduce the growth of weeds around the trees.

Hedge Spacing

Growing Ginger cedar trees as a drop reduces noise by producing a year-round screen. This dwelling fence additionally protects the region from harsh winds. When planting these trees as a drop, about 6 to 8 feet of space is necessary between each tree. The idea with a cedar hedge would be to plant the trees near enough so the branches entangle with each other. Shaping the trees as a drop begins while the trees are young and pliable.

See related