Deodar Cedar and Atlas Cedar

In the northern portion of the garden of the Arese residence in Cesano Maderno, double rows of Himalayan cedar and atlas cedars were introduced; unlike the hornbeams, they were not suited to be pruned to take on predetermined geometric shapes.

In spring when the wind blows, the hanging branches of the Himalayan cedar show off their long and soft triangular foliage, which are clear, ashen-green in colour. Generally these plant species are imposing with an elegant demeanour. However, they may suffer during rigid winters.
This tree is native to the snowy slopes of the Himalayas and belongs to the Pinaceae family. In its native land, it has a religious significance and is known as the “tree of the gods.” For this reason it was introduced in the past centuries in Europe, and in particular, in the country residences of Lombardy.
The hanging branches distinguish the cedrus deodara from the other cedars. It is also different because of its solitary needles that grow on shoots of the current year, while more mature needles appear in rosettes. Flowers are less frequent than the other species; male flowers release yellow pollen in autumn, unlike the female ones that are green in colour. Fruits are made in large erect cones which mature within two years and turn downwards and fall to the ground, while the central axis of the cone remains on the tree.
Along the central avenue of the garden of Cesano, these intermix with another example of a conifer: the Atlas cedar, also known as ”Glauca” because unlike the other cedars, its needles are silver-green in colour, which creates an exclusive chromatic contrast with the other surrounding cedars. In Italy, they are probably the most diffused in parks and gardens of aristocratic homes, so that we find them in gardens belonging to the system of aristocratic villas, like in the romantic garden of Villa Visconti Borromeo Litta at Lainate, where two magnificent specimens are on display near the fountain of Galatea.
Atlas cedars which have a pyramid shape and ascending branches, have blue-green leaves gathered in small bunches. They were placed at the intersections of the avenues that cross the parterre of the Arese Borromeo Palace, alternating with the yew tree compositions. The result was particularly dramatic especially when their flowers bloomed in the fall, unlike the other conifers. Male flowers, similar to small pink panicles, fall to the ground in considerable numbers, while green female flowers remain at the ends of younger branches. The cone in the form of a wasp’s nest with a concave top matures in two years and then it dismantles.