Cedars


One of the many reasons not to dismiss conifers is the small but exquisite Cedar family.

I've come across eight in the Meadows so far. There are two young Deodar Cedars around the tennis courts, another in front of the croquet club,



and one more at the Quartermile end of Middle Meadow Walk. 


In spring, the tufty little paintbrushes of new growth are brighter than the old



There's a useful tip for telling cedars apart:
   Atlas Cedar = Ascending branch tips
   Cedar of Lebanon  = Level branch tips

   Deodar Cedar = Descending branch tips

There's said to be a Cedar of Lebanon in the park, and I think this may be it:



There are also three Blue Atlas Cedars: one of my favourite trees. I love its leaves in steely blue pompoms, striped with pink in the cycle of death and regrowth (too much pink is a sign of Sirococcus blight, but the park's trees look pretty healthy).


There's a mature one to the west of the tennis courts,





I particularly like how the twigs creep over their branches like caterpillar moustaches.


Here's the caterpillar again with its bright new spring paintbrushes in May


Evergreen conifers have had a bad press in recent years, but they're fantastically primitive: among the oldest groups of plants in the world.  People tend to think of them as sparse, barren trunks infested by 'needles', but the needles are just simple leaves and their longevity means that the trees draw fewer nutrients out of the soil. 

The thin leaves and tall drooping silhouettes of some conifers are shaped to encourage snow to drop off - which may help critics to think a little more kindly of them. 

So, back to cedars. There's a new Blue Atlas in the Tollcross corner,







and another in a tree guard near the top of the Quartermile section of Middle Meadow Walk, just below the Green Police Box crepe stall.


(This little snack bar is very popular, and its manager Fernando has been working with the Bamboobelly Bandstand project developing a lovely little garden, just beside Middle Meadow Walk, to host musicians.)


Finally, although it's from a different family (Calocedrus), let's include the Incense Cedar in front of the tennis courts. Several trees are given the name 'cedar' without being a member of the true cedar family.



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