Native to the mountains of Asia Minor and Syria.
There have been very few forest plots or provenance trials with this species in Britain although it has been grown as a specimen tree for over three centuries; seed sources from the natural range should be used.
The species appears to be hardy to at least -20°C in Britain, but growth and survival is poor in high rainfall areas, so planting should be confined to warmer areas with <1500 mm rainfall. It grows best on soils of poor to medium nutrient status and of dry to fresh soil moisture. It is not suited to peats or other wet soils but it will grow on alkaline soils. It does not withstand exposure but is not sensitive to late frost, and it is capable of withstanding periods of drought. The species is light demanding and has a wide branching habit which may be detrimental in plantation unless grown in mixture with other species.
Pests and pathogens
Apparently largely free of major pathogens, Lebanon cedar is reported to have some susceptibility to Armillaria root rot (honey fungus) and suffers from various aphid infestations.
In its native range it is increasingly vulnerable to the cedar web-spinning sawfly (Cephalcia tannourinensis), a pest species first described in 2002.
This is a species which could increase in importance with climate change particularly on drier sites in southern and eastern Britain, but is probably less promising than Atlas cedar which has slightly faster growth.
Cedar of Lebanon is categorised as a Plot-stage species. These are species that have not been planted on any significant scale but have demonstrated silvicultural characteristics in trial plots and have qualities suitable for forestry objectives to justify further testing and development.