SergeantCedars | Care
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In order to keep your cedar trees healthy, follow these recommendations and tips:

LOCATION

Choosing an appropriate site is very important when planting a cedar hedge. Never situate a cedar hedge close to a walkway or roadway where salt is used over winter. Salt damages the evergreen foliage causing tissue death. If you decide to plant it close to a major roadway where salt is used during the winter, wrap burlap on the side of the cedar that is facing the road. Once cedars have established, the plants will sustain salt damage but the effects will be minimal. Young cedars will not have the same salt tolerance and will burn severely if left uncovered. Do not plant a cedar hedge near steep gradients. Moisture loss is a serious problem with steep slopes. Be sure to plant at least 3-4 feet away from walkways, roads, or any property edges.

PLANTING

Begin by measuring the distance of the planting line

For all cedars – Keep each tree straight and hold in its finished location before replacing the soil. Then back fill with the existing soil that has been mixed with manure, compost, triple mix, or peat moss. In heavily sandy soils, add 2 parts amendment (top soil or manure) to 1 part existing soil. Cedars thrive on moisture and nutrient-rich soils. Push the soil firmly around the roots ensuring that the tree remains straight and at the right soil level.

SOIL

Organically rich soil is preferable to help maintain moisture. Cedars like moist environments naturally. Supplementing the existing soil with triple mix, compost and/or manure will improve the soil’s water retention. Mulch can be applied one month after transplanting, which is an excellent source of nutrients. It also acts as an insulator keeping the soil temperature cool, in addition to keeping moisture from evaporating away at the soil’s surface.

WATERING

Watering thoroughly is crucial for helping cedars take root after planting. It is important to keep cedars watered during dry weather as they are naturally grown in wet areas. For two weeks after transplanting, water every evening after 7 p.m., with a soaker hose for approximately 30-45 minutes. Let the hose sit at the base of the planting trench and allow the water to lightly trickle. After the two-week period, water for an additional 2 weeks for 30-40 minutes 2 to 3 times per week.

FERTILIZING

A combination of blood and bone meal can be used as an organic alternative. For extended health, add new soil around the base of the planting trench each spring and autumn. This helps to renew the nutrient value of the existing soil.

PRUNING

In early spring, prune cedars using the shortest tree as your guide. A light trim of the sides will also encourage branching from all directions. Do not prune the leader of cedars dramatically or at all if you want the overall height to grow taller. Prune only a few inches of growth to stimulate those areas to grow fuller and begin to take on the look of a hedge. It is not necessary to prune during the first year, especially if the cedars are less than 3 feet tall. Depending on how much growth takes place in the first and second years, it may be necessary to begin pruning for an overall dense, symmetrical form before it appears unruly. Do not wait too long before trimming back drastic measurements. Never cut more than 1/3 of the tree in one season.

The bulk of pruning of cedars should take place in mid-summer, so as not to remove any older, inner wood. Keep them slightly narrower on top to allow even light conditions on all branches. This shape helps maintain fullness towards the base of the hedge and allows snow to fall off the branches in winter.

It is recommended not to prune later than the end of July, as bare areas may result from recently pruned branches that suffered winter kill. Very cold conditions can crack and cause damage to tissues of recently pruned branches. These freshly pruned sites are ideal for insects looking to hibernate.

TIPS
  • Every fall and winter, cedars go through a normal process called fall cast or fall shed where the interior foliage browns. Do not be alarmed as this is a normal function. The cedar is only trying to prepare the earth below for the winter. Depending on certain stress levels, cedars can lose up to 1/3 of their green growth towards the center leader and inner core. The browning foliage will eventually drop below, degrade and compost, adding nutrients to the soil’s surface. A thorough watering during drought periods and before the first frost can dramatically reduce the effects of fall cast, lessening the overall amounts of foliage dropping each year. Once the hedge is established this fall cast is hardly noticeable.
  • Water cedars deeply and regularly throughout the summer and fall to allow their roots system to develop below the soil surface.
  • Cedars are heavy feeders when establishing. Every spring or fall, add 2 to 3 inches of either triple mix or a mixture of compost, manure, or black earth to the soil surface. This helps to retain moisture levels and encourages new growth.
  • Trim cedars regularly for consistent height and width requirements. Do not wait too long before trimming back drastic measurements. Never cut more than 1/3 of the tree in one season.
  • If a newly planted cedar hedge is close to a major roadway, wrap burlap on the side of the cedars that are facing the road. Once cedars have established, the trees will sustain salt damage but the effects will be minimal. Young cedars however, will not have the same salt tolerance and will burn severely if left uncovered.
  • During winter, when snowfall can become quite heavy, young cedars benefit from having the snow tapped off regularly to prevent bending or cracking. Take the snow off the cedar tops and place it below where the roots will benefit from it melting.
LOCATION

Choosing an appropriate site is very important when planting a cedar hedge. Never situate a cedar hedge close to a walkway or roadway where salt is used over winter. Salt damages the evergreen foliage causing tissue death. If you decide to plant it close to a major roadway where salt is used during the winter, wrap burlap on the side of the cedar that is facing the road. Once cedars have established, the plants will sustain salt damage but the effects will be minimal. Young cedars will not have the same salt tolerance and will burn severely if left uncovered. Do not plant a cedar hedge near steep gradients. Moisture loss is a serious problem with steep slopes. Be sure to plant at least 3-4 feet away from walkways, roads, or any property edges.

PLANTING

Begin by measuring the distance of the planting line.

For all cedars – Keep each tree straight and hold in its finished location before replacing the soil. Then back fill with the existing soil that has been mixed with manure, compost, triple mix, or peat moss. In heavily sandy soils, add 2 parts amendment (top soil or manure) to 1 part existing soil. Cedars thrive on moisture and nutrient-rich soils. Push the soil firmly around the roots ensuring that the tree remains straight and at the right soil level.

SOIL

Organically rich soil is preferable to help maintain moisture. Cedars like moist environments naturally. Supplementing the existing soil with triple mix, compost and/or manure will improve the soil’s water retention. Mulch can be applied one month after transplanting, which is an excellent source of nutrients. It also acts as an insulator keeping the soil temperature cool, in addition to keeping moisture from evaporating away at the soil’s surface.

WATERING

Watering thoroughly is crucial for helping cedars take root after planting. It is important to keep cedars watered during dry weather as they are naturally grown in wet areas. For two weeks after transplanting, water every evening after 7 p.m., with a soaker hose for approximately 30-45 minutes. Let the hose sit at the base of the planting trench and allow the water to lightly trickle. After the two-week period, water for an additional 2 weeks for 30-40 minutes 2 to 3 times per week.

FERTILIZING

A combination of blood and bone meal can be used as an organic alternative. For extended health, add new soil around the base of the planting trench each spring and autumn. This helps to renew the nutrient value of the existing soil.

PRUNING

In early spring, prune cedars using the shortest tree as your guide. A light trim of the sides will also encourage branching from all directions. Do not prune the leader of cedars dramatically or at all if you want the overall height to grow taller. Prune only a few inches of growth to stimulate those areas to grow fuller and begin to take on the look of a hedge. It is not necessary to prune during the first year, especially if the cedars are less than 3 feet tall. Depending on how much growth takes place in the first and second years, it may be necessary to begin pruning for an overall dense, symmetrical form before it appears unruly. Do not wait too long before trimming back drastic measurements. Never cut more than 1/3 of the tree in one season.

The bulk of pruning of cedars should take place in mid-summer, so as not to remove any older, inner wood. Keep them slightly narrower on top to allow even light conditions on all branches. This shape helps maintain fullness towards the base of the hedge and allows snow to fall off the branches in winter.

It is recommended not to prune later than the end of July, as bare areas may result from recently pruned branches that suffered winter kill. Very cold conditions can crack and cause damage to tissues of recently pruned branches. These freshly pruned sites are ideal for insects looking to hibernate.

TIPS
  • Every fall and winter, cedars go through a normal process called fall cast or fall shed where the interior foliage browns. Do not be alarmed as this is a normal function. The cedar is only trying to prepare the earth below for the winter. Depending on certain stress levels, cedars can lose up to 1/3 of their green growth towards the center leader and inner core. The browning foliage will eventually drop below, degrade and compost, adding nutrients to the soil’s surface. A thorough watering during drought periods and before the first frost can dramatically reduce the effects of fall cast, lessening the overall amounts of foliage dropping each year. Once the hedge is established this fall cast is hardly noticeable.
  • Water cedars deeply and regularly throughout the summer and fall to allow their roots system to develop below the soil surface.
  • Cedars are heavy feeders when establishing. Every spring or fall, add 2 to 3 inches of either triple mix or a mixture of compost, manure, or black earth to the soil surface. This helps to retain moisture levels and encourages new growth.
  • Trim cedars regularly for consistent height and width requirements. Do not wait too long before trimming back drastic measurements. Never cut more than 1/3 of the tree in one season.
  • If a newly planted cedar hedge is close to a major roadway, wrap burlap on the side of the cedars that are facing the road. Once cedars have established, the trees will sustain salt damage but the effects will be minimal. Young cedars however, will not have the same salt tolerance and will burn severely if left uncovered.
  • During winter, when snowfall can become quite heavy, young cedars benefit from having the snow tapped off regularly to prevent bending or cracking. Take the snow off the cedar tops and place it below where the roots will benefit from it melting.