Japanese cedar is a tall, cone shaped evergreen with bluish green foliage and a massive trunk with thick reddish brown bark that shreds and peels in long strips. This is a fast growing tree that, in its native habitat, can get more than 180 feet tall with a trunk diameter exceeding 12 feet. Ornamental specimens are rarely more than 60 feet tall. The branches are arranged in horizontal tiers, ascending at first, then drooping near their ends. The flattened, wedge-shaped leaves are about 1/2 inch long and point forward, while their bases clasp the twigs. The leaves are overlapping and crowded in 5 ranks that spiral around and completely cloak the twigs. Male and female cones, 1 inch or less in length, are on the same tree. Two varieties are recognized: var. japonica has a dense habit and thick, spreading branches; var. sinensis has a looser habit and slender, drooping branches. A fantastic bonsai specimen.
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