Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica)

C. fortunei. Cupressus japonica.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Japanese Cedar
Cryptomeria japonica

The leaves are very aromatic and are used as incense sticks[46, 61, 272].

A fairly wind-tolerant tree, it can be used in shelterbelt plantings[200].

Wood – light, fragrant, fine grained[46, 61]. The wood is strongly rot resistant, easily worked, and is used for buildings, bridges, ships, lamp posts, furniture, utensils, and paper manufacture[1, 46, 61, 266]. The wood can be used as a substitute for Deal[146]. Old wood that has been buried in the soil turns a dark green and is then much esteemed[46, 61].

  • Medicinal Use

    An oil and/or a resin from the plant is depurative and also used in the treatment of gonorrhoea[218].

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow early spring in a cold frame. The seed germinates better if given a short cold stratification for 2 – 3 weeks at 4¡c and is then placed in a warm position[164]. Germination usually takes place within 3 – 9 weeks at 15¡c[164]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. An alternative is to plant out the young trees into an outdoor nursery bed when they are about 8cm tall and grow them on for a couple of years before planting them into their permanent positions in late autumn or early spring[164]. Cuttings in the autumn in a sandy soil in a cold frame.
Prefers a deep rich moist alluvial soil and a sheltered position in full sun[1, 11, 164]. Tolerates very acid to somewhat alkaline soils, but becomes chlorotic on shallow soils over chalk[200]. Plants are fairly wind-tolerant[200]. A very ornamental tree[1], it has been widely cultivated as a forestry tree for several centuries in Japan and there are many strains each adapted to the various local conditions[11]. Many forms, almost all of them dwarf, have also been selected for their ornamental value[185, 200]. A fast-growing tree on deep, well-drained soils in montane areas with a warm, moist climate, but intolerant of poor soils and cold, drier climates[266]. Occasionally planted for timber in Europe[50], trees do not generally do as well as could be expected in Britain, the best specimens are to be found in the west, especially in the south-west[11]. Trees can grow quite fast in the western part of the country with annual increases of 1 metre or more[185]. New growth takes place from early June to August[185]. Growth decreases rapidly with age, virtually ceasing when the tree reaches 25 metres[185]. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Unlike most conifers, this species can be coppiced[81].
E. Asia – China, Japan.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.