Famous Cedars of Lebanon

The future of the famous Cedars of Lebanon at Chiswick House & Gardens has been secured by successfully grafting five different clones and sharing these with other historic public gardens.

Visitors, including royalty have admired the avenue of stately trees framing the neo- Palladian villa for centuries, including Queen Victoria and The Shah of Persia who planted Cedars there themselves.

Once matured, their massive, low lying branches attracted many families and famous posteriors over the years, including the Beatles, who filmed Paperback Writer and Rain whilst sitting on one 50 years ago.

The oldest remaining cedars in the grounds date from the late 1720s and coincide with William Kent’s involvement in the garden.  Several of Chiswick’s cedars came directly from Lebanon where only a few trees remain from the original cedar forests.

Ironically, as seed has been imported to Britain for well over 250 years, there is now a greater genetic diversity of Cedars of Lebanon in the UK than in their eponymous country where they are now an endangered species.      

31 Cedars of Lebanon from five different clones of Chiswick House & Gardens’ trees, have been successfully grafted as part of an English Heritage Project. The project was set up almost a decade ago to propagate significant cedar trees in gardens with which they were associated.

historic image of Chiswick House with the original cedars of lebanon
Photo courtesy of Historic England Archive / English Heritage

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