You wouldn't think that a conifer native to Oregon and California would tolerate the heat and humidity of the South. But incense cedar does. It has been grown successfully from one end of the South to the otherfrom Stillwater, Oklahoma, to Athens, Georgia.
Growing 7590 feet tall and only 1015 feet wide, this symmetrical tree forms a dense, narrow, pyramidal crown. It features flat sprays of rich green foliage and handsome reddish brown bark. Small yellowish- to reddish-brown cones resembling duckbills ripen in autumn. The foliage produces a pungently sweet fragrance in warm weather, hence the tree's common name.
Although it's slow growing at first, incense cedar may grow 2 feet per year when established. It takes blazing summer heat and poor soil in stride. Makes an excellent tall screen, windbreak, or specimen for spacious lawns. No pruning required. 'Aureovariegata' has green sprays variably marked with pale yellow. 'Berrima Gold' has soft golden-yellow foliage, turning rich golden orange in winter.