Deodar tree is also known as Himalayan Cedar and Devadar in Hindi. The botanical name is Cedrus deodara and belongs to Pinaceae (Pine) family. These evergreen coniferous trees are native of Pakistan and Himalayas as they thrive at altitudes of 1,500-3,200 meters above sea level. The national tree of Pakistan is Deodar tree.
The name “Deodar” is derived from the Sanskrit work “Devadar” meaning tree of the gods. Hindus consider this tree sacred. Lord Ganesha is offered this leaf during the 21 patra (leaves) pooja and the chanting that is accompanied with the leaf is as follows: “Om Sarveswaraya namaha, Devadaru Patram Samarpayammi”. Deodar tree and Deodar forests are mentioned in many Hindu epics.
Deodar grows to a height of 40–60 meters (131–164 feet) with a trunk diameter of 3 meters (10 feet).
The branches droop with needle-like slender green leaves, which are 2.5 to 7 cms long. The female cones are 7 to 13 cms long and 5 to 9 cms broad, and the male cones are 4 to 6 cms long.
The timber of Deodar tree is used as construction material for its durability. Boat houses of Srinagar, Kashmir are built using this wood.
As the inner wood of this tree is aromatic, it is used to make incense sticks. This inner wood is also processed to get an essential oil. This oil contains anti-fungal and insect repellent properties making it very popular to store food grains.
In Ayurveda, the Deodar or Cedar Oil is known as Chilu Oil is used to treat many ailments.