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17. Cedar Deodara tree 17. Cedar Deodara tree
918 Fifth St.

Cedar deodara tree - 918 5th St

Cone and foliage of an ornamental specimen in Seattle
C.J. Earle, Oct-2001

Ocean Avenue, trees, a gift of J.W. Scott of the Arcadia Hotel. Systematic tree planting began in Santa Monica in 1876

The stately Cedrus deodara, a.k.a. Himalayan Christmas Tree, was planted in the early 20th Century, a point in time in which new species of huge trees were meant to provide shade for many years. In the early part of the 20th century,
Santa Monica was a forerunner in horticulturist activity. The city was known for bringing in exotic shade trees from around the world, and seeing how they fared in our gentle climate. These specimens were planted on both public and private lands.

This Cedar Deodara is a spectacular specimen. City forester Walt Warriner noted that this deodar stands 60' tall and has a diameter of 56”. It is more than 100 years old, and has not been pruned, manicured or trimmed. Notice how the lower limbs have been allowed to grow and spread horizontally.

The tree was designated as a landmark in December of 2002, several months after long term property owner Dorothy English passed away. The stately Cedrus deodara, sits on a large front yard, in front of a small frame house in the 900 block of Fifth Street. Large front yards are growing increasingly more rare in Santa Monica, so the preservation of this tree also harkens back to a time when our city featured larger lots.

As with several other landmarked properties, this tree has caused issues when the property was being sold. The potential buyer wanted to expand the small house on the lot, but because of the landmark status of the tree, the buyer was limited on how they would be able to remodel the property. Fortunately, the new owner appreciates the value of this Santa Monica landmark, and remodeled their property leaving the honored cedar intact.

This Himalayan Christmas Tree is one of three trees that are currently landmarked in Santa Monica. The impressive Moreton Bay fig tree on the grounds of the Fairmont-Miramar hotel at Ocean Ave and Wilshire Blvd received that honor in 1976, and the Eucalyptus deanei at 22 24th St. was designated as a landmark in 2003.

Cedrus deodara a.k.a. Deodar or Himalaya cedar is indiginious to India and Pakistan - the Western Himalayas and Southern slopes of the Hindu Kush, at heights between 3,300 and 9,000 feet. "usually on silicate mother rocks. It is often associated with Pinus wallichiana and Abies pindrow.”
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