Cedrus atlantica 'Horstmann' / Horstmann Atlas cedar

Lacking the space for the massively growing Blue Atlas cedar? Horstmann nursery in Germany found the solution!

Cedrus atlantica 'Horstmann' is a comparatively slow-growing, narrow selection of Atlas cedar that grows with multiple leaders and layered horizontal branching that holds attractive, powder-blue needles. It is a highly recommended option for those who like the look of the blue Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca'), but lack a landscape of sufficient size to support such a massive plant.

After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 6 feet (2 m) tall and 3 feet (1 m) wide, an annual growth rate of 6 to 8 inches (15 - 20 cm).

This cultivar originated as a seedling selected in the 1970s by Günther Horstmann Nursery of Schneverdingen Germany.

Cedrus atlantica 'Horstmann' — a well maintained specimen in a private garden in Washington state.
Photo by Ellen Smart
Cedrus atlantica 'Horstmann' in the display garden of a commercial nursery in Oregon.
Photo by Monrovia Nursery, inc.



I’m trying to find how deep these roots grow. I read cedar roots are most commonly around 6-7 feet but can go to 20 feet. I have a sewer easement and don’t want to cause complications! It would be such a perfect sunny spot but I like to study root systems for designing so they don’t invade home foundations or driveways.

Maxwell Cohn

Hi Jenn, think of this as a general guideline for nearly all conifers ... root spread will be pretty much to the drip line of primary branching and root depth will be pretty much double the trunk gauge.


Thank you. I’m looking for this information too. We just bought a hortsman and are concerned it might be too close to a french drain. If root width is only to the drip line of the tree we might be ok!


I am in Zone 7B in central NC. I would like to use Horstmann Blue Atlas in a spot that gets part-sun, but it's the hot afternoon sun (3pm to sunset). Do you think this is enough sun to work here?


I am seeing a lot of information out there that the Horstman Blue Atlas will get to about 10' tall and 6' wide after ten years. How much larger will it grow after that? Also is it safe to plant near a foundation?

Maxwell Cohn

Hi Keith, it'll grow at a similar rate for many decades, perhaps centuries. That means 20 feet tall after 20 years and 100 feet tall after 100 years.


I know that's what people say about conifers in general, but does that hold for cedars like these when grown in the landscape? All the old Atlas cedars and Lebanon cedars I've seen pictures of (outside their native forests) have been tall but flat-topped, more spreading than in youth, implying that the vertical growth slows down at some point even if it doesn't stop completely.