Cedar of Lebanon
An ancient evergreen symbolising purity and everlasting life.
The distinctive evergreen cedar, which comes originally from the Middle East, has long been associated with everlasting life. It can grow to a great age – some thriving cedars are known to be over a thousand years old.
The trees have been valued for millennia too. The ancient Egyptians used cedar resin to mummify their dead, and the Bible records that the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem was built from cedar wood.
The trees are also a symbol of fertility, and regarded as the tree of life and the tree of knowledge. They symbolise purity and protection, and it is a Jewish tradition to burn cedar branches at New Year.
The Cedar of Lebanon was introduced to Britain around 400 years ago, and became very fashionable for parks, gardens and estates. They are prized for their sweeping branches that spread out in horizontal layers, often hanging low to the ground.
Cedars can grow up to 40 metres tall, about the height of a ten-storey building. The resin gives cedar wood an appealing fragrance that’s also as an insect repellent, which makes it an ideal timber for building wardrobes and chests.