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Son of the cedars
7,958 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The cedar represents eternity, strength, and endurance
Cedar Of Lebanon Information:

The Cedar of Lebanon, Cedrus Libani, is an evergreen of the family Pinaceae. This coniferous plant was first found in Lebanon, on the Mount Lebanon range at Sannine, Barrouk, and the eastern and western mountain chains. The Mount Lebanon chain used to be almost completely covered with cedars.

These trees are the most renowned natural monuments in the universe; religion, poetry and history have all equally celebrated them. The Arabs entertain a traditional veneration for these trees, attributing to them a vegetative power which enable them to live eternally, and an 'intelligence' which causes them to manifest signs of wisdom and foresight they are said to understand the changes of the seasons as they stir their vast branches, inclining them towards heaven or earth accordingly as the snow proposes to fall or melt. It is said that the snows have no sooner begun to fall then these Cedars turn their branches to rise insensibly, gathering their points upwards, forming, as it were, a pyramid or parasol. Assuming this new shape, they can sustain the immense weight of snow remaining upon them for so long.

The importance of the cedar of Lebanon to the various civilizations is conveyed through its uses. The Egyptians used its resin to mummify their dead and thus called it the "life of death", and cedar sawdust was found in the tombs of the Pharaohs as well. Pharaohs and Pagans had the tradition of burning the cedar coming from Lebanon with their offerings and in their ceremonies. Jew priests however, were ordered by Moses to use the peel of the Lebanese Cedar in circumcision and treatment of leprosy. According to the Talmud, Jews used to burn Lebanese cedar wood on the mountain of olives announcing the beginning of the new year.

The superb qualities of the cedar wood as beautiful color, hardness, exquisite fragrance, resistance to insects humidity and temperature, incited Phoenicians, Egyptians, Greeks and many others to use it extensively. The Phoenicians built their trade ship and military fleets from cedar wood as well as the roofs of their temples, houses and doorsills. Kings of neighboring and distant countries asked for this wood to build their religious and civil constructs; the most famous of which are the temple of Jerusalem and David's and Solomon's Palaces. It was also used in the temples and furniture works of the Assyrians and Babylonians. Greeks, Latins and Romans had their share of Cedar wood which they praise and have pride in.

Cedrus Libani possesses an imposing trunk that may attain a height of 120 feet and a diameter of 9 feet. Such a trunk is often branching and having a dense crown with an inclined dark green head of characteristic flat growth in adult trees. Secondary branchlets are often ramified like a candelabra. Warberton, in his "Crescent and Cross", described a Cedar of Lebanon with a trunk of 45 feet in circumference. Burckhardt speaks of twelve very ancient trees called the "Saints". These had four, five, and even seven gigantic trunks" springing from the same base", bearing, like American Sequoias, leaves only at their very tops.

The bark of the Cedar of Lebanon is dark gray and exudes a gum of balsam which makes the wound so fragrant that to walk in a grove of cedars is an utmost delight. The wood is astonishingly decay resistant and it is never eaten by insect larvae. Unlike the red tone of the American cedar, it is of a beautiful light tone, solid, and free from knots.

The terminal shoots are erect or slightly inclined. The tree blossoms in September or October, which is peculiar to the genus Cedrus among the conifers. It bears cones that require three years to mature. The cones is initially tiny and pale green. The second year it reaches its full size that ranges between 3-4.5 inches in height and has a characteristic violet purple color. In the third season it turns into a rich brown and scatters its seeds, which are minute, considering the size of the tree. The cones are born upright on the upper side of the branches.

The cedar of Lebanon is a plant of cold high mountainous regions. It flourishes and easily regenerates its forests where the average rainfall ranges between 800 and 190 mm. The average temperatures that occur in the land of the cedar are as follows: as low as -4.5 to 5.4 C on the coldest month i.e. January, and as high as 21.8 to 34.3 C in the warmest month i.e. August. Growing cedars from seeds or seedlings is an incredibly easy task provided that favorable conditions for growth be available. These conditions can be limited to two: water and soil nutriments. Cedars favor rich soils with high organic matter; so poor soils must be enriched simply by adding livestock manure and ploughing it into the soil. This procedure can be repeated every year. Water on the other hand is the second critical growth factor, if limited growth will halt and dryness would occur leading to the death of branches or the whole tree. So water must be sufficiently supplied especially during the hot season. Sufficient watering means that water should reach the deep layers of soil where cedar roots reside and this can be accomplished by watering slowly for long periods of time. In conclusion, and contrary to the common beliefs, cedars can grow significantly fast but only when their water and nutrient requirements are answered.

Throughout history, cedar wood, and such byproducts as cedar oil, have proven to be worth far more money than living trees, however beautiful they were. At the time of Gilgamesh, Egypt has already cut (without replanting) large amounts of cedar for ship construction and for export. They continued the same tradition. Cedar cutting prevailed under various administrations, up through the time of the Ottomans. They finished off most of the remaining forests by using cedar wood as fuel for railway engines. They generally bypassed more easily obtainable oak wood, since cedar (because of its oil content) burned much better. The presently remaining cedar groves were spared mainly because their regions were relatively difficult to reach.

Cedrus Libani has been famous in Lebanon since early written history. Many writers throughout history have been highly impressed with the majestic aspects of the cedars, and have referred to them metaphorically to indicate such qualities as strength, beauty, endurance, grandeur, majesty, dignity, lofty stature and noblesse. For instance, in the beautiful "Song of Songs" in the Bible, the poetic description that begins "My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand ...," finishes with "... His countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars." Cedar is mentioned 75 times in the Bible, and all are included in the old testament -Torah- distributed among 18 books. Some of these statements are: "The cedar in the heaven of God is unmatched by cypress and unresembling in its branches...", "the trees of God resemble the Cedars of Lebanon which he planted", "the righteous flourish like the palm tree and grows like the cedar in Lebanon", "my love is white and red... bright as Lebanon and young as the cedars". The cedar of Lebanon is also the main tool in the oldest epic ever written by man -The Epic of Gilgamesh- a story from the mesopotamia.The earliest reference is the Epic of Gilgamesh, which dates back at least four thousand years (Leonard Translation, slightly modernized):
"On the Mountain the cedars uplift their abundance. Their shadow is beautiful, is all delight. Thistles hide under them, and the dark prick-thorn, sweet smelling flowers hide under the cedars ... In all directions, ten thousand miles stretches that forest ..."

From the above, one gets the impression that the cedar forests were extensive at that time. One reason for this might be found in the description of the monster that guards the forest:

"Who could dare enter? Khimbaba's below is storm wind, His mouth is fire, his snort is death! Enlil has placed him there To the terror of men, for warding the cedars. And whoever enters the forest is suddenly faint".

Gilgamesh, of course, kills the monster commenting in passing: "I will set my hands to it and fell the cedars, I will make myself a sounding name"

The Scriptures by Ezekiel illustrate beautifully how these lofty kings of the forest were used by prophet orators to symbolize and typify worldly might, power, and glory. Thus one obtains a fair idea of the crowning insolence of Sennacherib, the invader, when he boasted in the year 700 B.C.: "I am come up the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon; and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof".

In his book, "The Natural History of the Bible", Tristan says of the cedars: "... Everyone who has seen these noble trees recognizes the force of the majestic imagery of the prophets. With their gnarled and contorted stems and scaly bark, with their massive branches, with their dark green leaves shot with silver in the sunlight, as they stand a lovely group in the stupendous mountain amphitheater, the assert their title to the monarchs of the forests".

To end this unfulfilling account of Cedrus Libani, it seems only right to refer to Khalil Gibran's book "A tear and a smile" where he says: "My love is as the cedars, beloved, and the elements shall not conquer it."

For many hundreds of years the Cedar of Lebanon has been the national emblem of Lebanon.
Bcherri Cedar Grove from above, showing the town of Bcherri in the sbackground and the mountain in the far distance

Looking from the other direction, the cedar grove with the mountain behind it, protecting the grove

Younger cedar trees have been planted in the Bcherri cedar area. The cedar tree is slow-growing

Eastern side of the Bcherri cedar grove contains the younger trees

Bcherri cedars, and the enduring Mount Lebanon

The oldest Cedar Trees are in a grove in Becharri, Northern Lebanon. These
trees are between 1000 and 2000 years old, making them some of the oldert trees on earth

Cedar of Lebanon - 1500-year-old cedar tree

Cedar of Lebanon - Very Old Tree

Millenary Cedar of Lebanon Tree (over 1000 years old)

Another photo of Old Cedar of Lebanon tree at the entrance of the grove in Becharri

Huge old Cedar of Lebanon in Bcherri - Take note of the massive trunk

Cedar of Labanon in the Chouf Region


2,375 Posts
The cedar's are great
are they growing more cedars in Lebanon ? it dosent look like there much left

2,375 Posts
the Cedars of Lebanon are way more Historical thhen the ones where u ever said they were Lebanon Cedar trees have meaning to them

there is even a verve in the bible on the Lebanese cedar

Son of the cedars
7,958 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
asb63 said:
What's the difference between the Cedars of Lebanon & the Cedars of Atlas mountains?
Three true cedars
Although many trees around the world are popularly known as cedars, there are only three recognized species of "true cedars":

the deodar (Cedrus deodara), characterized by drooping branches and silvery needles and found in the Himalayas and Hindu Kush.

the Lebanese cedar (C. libani), characterized by horizontal branches and blue-green needles, historically found from Turkey through the Middle East to North Africa, with a small-leaved variety on the island of Cyprus.

the Mount Atlas cedar (C. atlantica), characterized by ascending branches and yellow-green needles, and found in the mountains of Morocco.

Son of the cedars
7,958 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The Cedar of Lebanon: Culture, History, and Ecology (by Rania Masri)

Among the native tree species present in Lebanon, the most famous, most
treasured species both nationally and internationally is the Cedar of
Lebanon, known scientifically as the Cedrus libani. The Cedar of Lebanon
is cited numerous times in religion and mythology. In addition to its
significant role in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Cedar of Lebanon is
regarded as a world tree in several mytholog ical passages. One deeply
mythological passage sees the imperial nation, the embodiment of history,
under the figure of something like a world-tree [Ezekiel 31.1-18]. The
cutting of the cedar is seen as the destruction of world-empires - really,
as the end of history. Our understanding of ecology, the dependence of
human history on maintenance of the natural environment, simply makes this
primitive insight explicit.

Medicinally, the Cedar of Lebanon also made its mark. The pitch of the
cedar was utilized for easing the pain of toothaches. The sawdust of the
cedar puts snakes to flight, and thus makes sleeping under the shade of a
cedar a relatively safe siesta. Furthermore, based upon historical
analyses, it is believed that the cedar was used in the preservation of
the corpses in Egypt.

Naturally, both the religious and mythological recordings and the
medicinal employment reflect the importance of the Cedar of Lebanon
historically, and have contributed to making the cedar one of the most
signifi cant tree species in world history. The Cedar of Lebanon aided
society not only culturally but was the basis of numerous economies for
ancient civilizations. The cedar had been used for the construction of
temples, palaces, and boats. The export of cedar wood to Egypt was an
important factor in the growth of Phoenician prosperity and provided
capital to launch the more ambitious enterprises in international trading,
navigation, and arts and crafts. The Phoenicians and the Egyptians were
not alone in utilizing the cedar. The Assyrians, Nebuchdrezzar, the
Romans, King David, King of Babylonia, Herod the Great, and the Turks in
the Ottoman Empire all exploited the cedars. During the War of 1914-1918,
most of the remaining stands were exploited and dest royed for railroad
fuel. As a consequence, the extent of the cedars in Lebanon has
dramatically declined.

The Cedar forests at one time probably covered large areas in the
mountains of the Near East. The ancient Mediterranean would look to our
eyes like northern Europe today, with great coniferous forests in Lebanon,
Turkey, and Corsica, and oaks and beeches in Italy. It is a general rule
that when those northern climax forests are cut, they are replaced by a
scrubby southern flora; most of the soil is lost, water cannot be
retained, and the period required to restore the stable climax is unknown.

Thus, based upon historical data and scientific estimates, the perennial
springs of higher Lebanon today must formerly have been much fuller and
more constant, the lower slopes green and moist. There may even have been
greater annual rainfall through the recirculation of water on the western
slopes by the transpiration of the forest. The forest and its animals
were thought to be inexhaustible... and so blind deforestation continued
until the wooded area in Lebanon became a mere 60,000 hectares, and the
cedar only accounting for a small percentage. Now, the Cedar of Lebanon
is limited to twelve stands, a total of approximately 1,700 hectares, a
far cry from its previous flourishment over the conservative estimate of
81,000 hectares in Lebanon.

Among all the conifers, the Cedar of Lebanon is one of the most majestic.
The Cedrus libani is native to Lebanon and to the Taurus Mountains of
Syria and Sou thern Turkey. A distinct relict population occurs in
Northern Turkey near the Black Sea.

The Cedrus libani is in the Pine Family (Pinaceae). The cedar is
monoecious; it has unisexual flowers with both the male and female sex
being borne on the same plant. The male inflorescences are solitary,
erect, approximately 5 cm long, and occur at the ends of short shoots.
The female cones are reddish and smaller, and can occur singly at the tips
of the dwarf shoots. When mature, they are large, barrel-shaped, and
break up while still attached to the branches. Female cones mature in the
second year, requiring about 17 to 18 months for full development. Young
cones are light green, mature cones dull brown. The branches of the young
trees are often erect or a scending. The trunks of old trees are usually
divided into several stout, erect branches, the side-branches being
horizontal and sometimes extended for a considerable distance from the

The shape of the tree, specifically the form of its trunk, changes
depending on the density of the stand. When located in a high density
stand, the Cedrus libani grows straighter, whereas when growing in a low
density stand, the Cedrus libani develops its lower horizontal branches
and spreads them out over long distances.

The fruiting cones, which take two or three years to mature, are oval to
oblong. On average, trees do not bear cones until they are 40 or 50 years
old. Propagation is from seed. The seeds germinate in late winter, when
either rain or snowmelt are still available.

The Cedrus libani is most abundant and best developed on North-facing
slopes, where the impact of radiation is less severe, but in wetter
locations it grows equally well on the mountain sides exposed to the
prevailing rain-bringing winds. In the Mediterranean, these slopes are
facing the sea. Winter snow is an important source of water in the
spring. Annual precipitation in Lebanon usually exceeds 1000 millimeters
where Cedrus forests occur.

The extensive soil erosion over the Lebanon range may have rendered the
forest species more sensitive to atmospheric conditions, and the
denudation of vegetation may have reduced the amount of cloud formation.

Shade tolerance is generally low; cedars require abundant sunlight through
out their life. Cedrus often forms pure, rather open forests, with only
low undergrowth of grasses of low shrubs, but it is also mixed with other
conifers and oaks.

Present Situation of the Cedrus libani in Lebanon

Currently, the Cedrus libani in Leban on is limited to twelve, separate
stands. From north to south, these stands are: Jabal Qammoua forest,
Wadi Jahannam in the Akkar area, Ehden, Bcharre, Tannourine-Hadeth, Jeij
in the Jubail mountains of central Lebanon, and in the Jabal el-Barouk
forest s of the Chouf mountains, Ain Zhalta/Bmohrain, Barouk, and Maasser
el-Chouf. The areas are briefly described below, and Bcharre and Jabal
el-Barouk will be discussed in further depth and detail.

The Jabal Qammoua is a large forest area of several hund red hectares. It
is highly degraded and only about 30 hectares are closed forest. It is a
mixture of Cedrus, Abies cilicica, and Juniperus species, with Abies
dominating on northwest and north slopes, and Cedrus on northeast and east
slopes. Jabal Qammoua supports a high population of goats, which damage
seedlings and the lower parts of trees.

Ehden forest, located northeast of the village Ehden, is approximately 140
hectares of closed and well-protected forest. Ehden forest is
floristically the rich est locality in Lebanon. There is very little
sheep and goat-grazing.

The Bcharre cedars, also known as Arz el-Rab [the cedars of the Lord] is
the most famous stand of cedars in Lebanon. It comprises only 7 hectares,
and contains the oldest and largest specimens of Cedrus libani, reported
to be over 2000 years old. There is scant cedar reproduction. Mistakenly,
the literature often suggests that it is the very last remnant of cedar
forest in Lebanon. Bcharre cedars have been nominated as a World Her
itage area by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon.

Tannourine and Hadeth forests are located on Jabal Mar Moroune and Jabal
es Sair between the villages Hadeth ej Joube and Tannourine et Tahta.
They encompass about 200 hectares of forest of which only 85 hectares can
be called closed.

Jeij cedars, located above the village of Jeij, comprise a mere, but
beautiful, 2 hectares.

Jabal el-Barouk is located on the slopes of the central portion of the
Mount Lebanon chain, at the southern-most limit of the cedar’s growing
range in Lebanon. It has the largest self-regenerating stand of the
Cedrus libani in Lebanon. Jabal el-Barouk is comprised of three adjacent
but separate stands of cedars on communal land belonging to the respective
municip alities, and covering an area of about 3509 hectares. The
forested area, however, covers a total of only 216 hectares, a mere 8.6%
of the 3509 hectares. The cedars have adapted to the heat and dryness of
the area by sending down deep roots. Every three years an abundant
production of seeds allows the only significant natural propagation of
this tree in Lebanon. It is one the last remaining areas in Lebanon were
larger mammals such as the wolf and the wild boar can still be found, and
where the ibex an d the mountain gazelle can be reintroduced. In
addition, Jabal el-Barouk has been cited as an important bird area by
BirdLife International.

Closer Examination of Two Cedar Areas: Bcharre and Jabal el-Barouk

In order to protect and manage the cedar, it is necessary to understand
that aspects of the ecosystem are closely interlinked. For example, to
manage the cedars of Bcharre, one needs to be aware of more than the mere
7 hectares of the area and the trees within that confine; water pollution,
air po llution, soil erosion could all negatively contribute to the stress
of the tree and thus lead to its weakening state. Simply, the environment
of a plant may be defined as the sum of all external forces and substances
affecting the growth, structure, and reproduction of that plant.

Five main factors of the environment: climate, parent material,
organisms, relief, and time. Utilizing this foundation and in an effort
to obtain a general picture of the state of the cedars in Lebanon, two
important cedar areas and the problems they face will be discussed in
further depth: Bcharre, the oldest, most famous stand of cedar; and Jabal
el-Barouk, the largest naturally regenerating cedar forest comprising of
three separate cedar stands.


The much loved cedars of Bcharre are under significant stress. The
symptoms and problems they face include:

twigs die-back and desiccation; some needle spots and blotches; general
weakness and malnutrition symptoms; desiccation and death of some trees;
very poor cone production; rotting symptoms and wood decay of dying
trees; abundant tunnels and mines on desiccated branches and dead trees
caused by borers; absence or very poor presence of accompanying flora;
absence of all kinds of beneficial birds; important weakness symptoms on
all newly planted trees (10-30 years) caused by competition for light,
food, and water due to the very high density of trees (4-5 trees/m2);
severe engravings performed by visitors on bark of trees and huge wood
cuttings left for fire setting during visits; presence of lichens on the
bark of trees reaching high and non-beneficial levels in some areas; soil
erosion;significant effect of grazing on seedlings and young trees caused
by the goats; several trees hit and broken or uprooted by lightning and

The causal agents comprise one or a combination of factors of weakness,
stress, and malnutrition. These factors are affected by age, drought;
macro and micro element deficiency clear on young trees and older trees;
soil erosion, and the previous irresponsible use of the forest.
Armallaria species was detected; at worse, it could be a secondary
pathogen of stressed trees. Also detected, but of little significance,
were the Parasyndemis cedricola insect and Botryodiplodia fungus.

Friends of the Cedars’ Committee at Bcharre is currently working on the
protection of this cedar stand. The committee is starting a Cedrus libani
nursery, plan to plant a new forest neighboring the stand on a 200 hectare
surface. In addition, they aim to cultivate cedar understory plants, dig
channels to drain stagnant water retained in the region neighboring the
army’s casern, and transform the cedar stand into an eco-museum.

The most beneficial act to manage and protect the cedars in Bcharre is
simply to reforest cedars in the neighboring area, and to increase the
cedar area from a 7 hectare stand to a several hundred hectare forest.

Jabal el-Barouk

Jabal el-Barouk is comprised of three adjacent but separate stands of
cedars: Maasser el-Ch ouf, Ain Zhalta, and Arz el-Barouk. The forested
area covers a total of only 216 hectares. Jabal el-Barouk has a
fascinating, important history in regards to the management and current
situation of the cedars.

Jabal el-Barouk had been grazed extensively from the months of May to
October by an estimated 2,000 goats. In addition, about every twenty
years, the oak forests had been cut for commercial purposes, until 1960,
when the Forest Department and the FAO began the reforestation efforts
throughout Ja bal el-Barouk known as the Green Plan. Terraces were
created throughout the forests of Jabal el-Barouk, and cedars were planted
at relatively close, regular intervals, resulting in the reforestation of
52 hectares in Ain Zhalta. In 1975, reforestation e fforts stopped with
the start of the war. Jabal el-Barouk was closed off to civilians and
grazing in the forest was prohibited. In 1982, the Israeli army occupied
Ain Zhalta. The Israeli occupation of Arz Ain Zhalta resulted in, among
many other things , the spread of the war to the cedar forest, thus
causing shrapnel damage and mortality to some cedars. More significantly,
the Israeli army caused almost permanent destruction of close to 5% of the
cedar forest due to the intense compaction by their heavy machinery and
road construction.

One of the main roads leading to Arz Ain Zhalta is used as a landfill for
nearby villages. Trash is dumped by the truck-load, and then regularly
burned to provide room for additional garbage. Not only does trash att
ract insect and possibly pathogens, which may prove to be harmful to the
trees, but trash fires may spread to the forest itself. Until now, the
fires have been limited to the outskirts of the forest, and have not yet
extended further. The potential for the spread of the fire exists, and
therefore an alternative to the dumpsite and the burning needs to be

Cedars in Arz el-Barouk have been infected with what is presumed to be a
fungal disease. Stagheading and crown defoliation are the main symptoms.
(Stagheading could be a physiological reaction to stress, and not
necessarily a symptom of a fungus disease or infection.). Research on the
fungal disease should be conducted to identify the disease, the cause, and
the means by which to combat it. In addition, Arz el-Barouk is suffering
from soil erosion.

Research on the fungus disease and on the other environmental stresses the
cedars are under, as well as providing an alternative to the waste
disposal problem, would not be sufficient, regardl ess of how well they
are implemented and managed. By concentrating finite energy and resources
on the healing of a select number of trees in Arz el-Barouk, for example,
energy would be diverted from the more beneficial and necessary remedy:
reforestatio n. Jabal el-Barouk comprises an area of 3509 hectares; only
8.6% of this area is forested. Reforestation and rehabilitation of the
entire area is indispensable. In an optimum situation, efforts should be
concentrated on reforestation and researching the fungus disease.
However, if choices need to be made, then reforestation should be chosen.

As with any natural resources management plan, be it relating to Jabal
el-Barouk, Bcharre, or any other area, the local community needs to be
involved. One esse ntial mean by which to ensure the success of such
plans, and thus the health of the Cedrus, is through cooperation and
collaboration with nearby villages. The effective, long-term means to
this goal is through education.

Son of the cedars
7,958 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·

"The mountains were covered by its shadow, the cedars of God by its branches..."
Psalm 80:11

264 Posts
^^ agreed!

Try looking at these pics while listening to some house jazz.... makes them all the more beautiful :) Thanks for the pics, beautiful impressive trees!

Registered User
10,758 Posts
Three true cedars
Although many trees around the world are popularly known as cedars, there are only three recognized species of "true cedars":

the deodar (Cedrus deodara), characterized by drooping branches and silvery needles and found in the Himalayas and Hindu Kush.

the Lebanese cedar (C. libani), characterized by horizontal branches and blue-green needles, historically found from Turkey through the Middle East to North Africa, with a small-leaved variety on the island of Cyprus.

the Mount Atlas cedar (C. atlantica), characterized by ascending branches and yellow-green needles, and found in the mountains of Morocco.
This is the Cedar atlantica in Morocco : ;)


Son of the cedars
7,958 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thanx guys for the pics :) the cadars trees of morocco looks beautifull as well,but the lebanese cedars are more beautifull :p :) j/k
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