The Cedar of Lebanon

Posted: 1st March 2011 by bryant in Cedar of Lebanon

When I changed jobs from the University of Utah to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I moved to a building near temple square called the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. It was nice to be working above ground again and after a month or two I was comfortable with the ambient sunlight coming in the windows. One afternoon, while I was looking at Temple Square, a co-worker pointed out a tree and asked if I knew what kind of tree it was. I assumed it was some sort of pine tree since the tree has needles and cones on it, but it turns out it is a Cedar of Lebanon from Lebanon. Apparently someone donated the tree long ago and it has grown into quite a large tree. I don’t have any proof of this, this is just the story I heard.

The Tree

Cedar of Lebanon tree on Temple SquareWell I was immediately interested in this rare tree and decided to attempt another round of tree growing.  Of course, this time I had no idea what the seeds would look like so I had to do some Internet investigations.  I found a number of sites that talk about cedar trees and how to grow them from the cones that they produce.  Only problem was, it didn’t describe when the cones would mature and fall on their own and I didn’t want to get caught climbing a tree on Temple Square.  I just don’t think they would go for that kind of thing.  So I had to wait.  Every morning I would walk under the tree on my way to the office and every afternoon I would walk directly under it and look for discarded cones.  One of the problems I found with this was that the grounds crew here on Temple Square is constantly cleaning debris from the sidewalk and from under the trees.  So, the odds that I was actually going to find a cone were even more staked against me.


The Seed

The seed of a Cedar Tree on cobblestone sidewalk.It turns out I was looking for a cone when what I should have been looking for was an individual seed.  One day, in late fall, I was walking under the tree, looking for a cone, when I spotted a weird little leaf.  I didn’t recognize the leaf from any trees nearby so I picked it up.  Luckily for me I had just picked up an individual seed to the tree that had shed off a cone.  The cones don’t drop all at once, they dry up and from the top down they shed seeds.  Awesome!  So I picked up about a half dozen of them and took them home.


The small cups of soil where my Cedar of Lebanon seeds are germinating.It’s a Cup of Dirt

So here we are.  Five cups of dirt on a small window sill.  They have been there for about 3 weeks and still no activity from the seeds.  I keep them fairly moist but not wet and they get nice and warm in the daytime and cooler at night.   I figure, the conditions are perfect for germination so now it is a waiting game.  Ahh, the joys of horticulture.



Stay tuned.

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