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Tree Campus: Blue Atlas Cedar

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b


Blue Atlas Cedar

Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca' (PINACEAE)



Morocco to Algeria



"The trees occur between 4,000 and 7,000 feet and are one of the principle conifers of the mountain range where they occur in widely scattered stands... The blue color to the leaves is due to a wax deposit which occurs on many species of conifers which grow in areas frequented by severe drought." [1]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

"The ancient Egyptians used oil extracted from Blue Atlas cedar wood for embalming, cosmetics, perfumery, incense and medicinal purposes." [2]



"In the United States, Cedrus atlantica is used largely for landscaping purposes as an ornamental tree. In its native habitat of northern Africa, the tree provides an income for African citizens who harvest the trees to produce essential oils and medicinal tars. Laborers risk fines and steeper penalties from authorities for entering protected forests and illegally taking trees... The medicinal tars are used as medicine for livestock, protecting the animals from intestinal parasites. Tars, ointments and shampoos made from Cedrus atlantica are used by humans to deal with problems of the hair and skin such as dandruff and exema. The roots are the preferred part of Cedrus Atlantica used in the manufacture of medicinal tars. Using the roots totally destroys the trees, whereas when the branches are used, the tree has a chance to recover. The medicinal tars are sometimes used as a disinfectant in potable water and can be used to repel potentially dangerous snakes and scorpions.. The wood of Cedrus atlantica is strong, long lasting and can be used in furniture making and construction." [3]



[1] Klingaman, Gerald. “Plant of the Week: Blue Atlas Cedar.” Division of Agriculture Resource Library, University of Arkansas, 4 Feb. 2000,

[2] Blum , Jackson, and Emily Wu. “Blue Atlas Cedar.” Yale Nature Walk, Yale University, 3 Feb. 2005,

[3] “Cedrus Atlantica.” University of Arizona Campus Arboretum, University of Arizona, 2012,

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