The Cedar may be the emblem of the Lebanese flag, but it represents much more than that as well. For as far back as history can remember, the Cedar has been cherished for its beauty, majesty, mystical and healing powers.
Cedrus libani (Lebanon Cedar or Cedar of Lebanon), is an evergreen coniferous tree growing up to 40 m tall, with a trunk up to 2.5 m in diameter. The crown is conic when young, becoming broadly tabular with age with fairly level branches. The cedar of Lebanon is a plant of cold high mountainous regions.it occurs most abundantly at altitudes of 1,000-2,000 m.
In the past, Lebanese mountains were covered with Cedars. In fact, the Cedars of Lebanon formed one great big forest. Sadly enough and due to deforestation and over exploitation, all that is left today is 18 scattered patches of protected Cedar land. In total, protected forests (both Cedar and other) make up approximately 4 to 8% of the Lebanese territory.
Therefore the Lebanese state has created several Cedar Reserves or nature reserves that contain cedars, including the Chouf Cedar Reserves, the Jaj Cedar Reserve, the Tannourine Reserve, the Ammouaa and Karm Shbat Reserves in the Akkar district, and the most famous reserve is the Forest of the Cedars of God near Bcharri.