We have worked on many emerald cedar trees and hedges in the last few years for our clients. Here’s some tips on cedar hedge tree care from pruning to fertilizer for cedar trees

how to care for cedar hedge trees

Get a great cedar hedge around your property

We have planted, topped and pruned many cedar tree hedges in the last few years for our customers. With each customer we give the same advice on caring for your cedar hedge. Although cedars are hardy and often seem easy to grow creating a beautiful privacy or back drop in your garden, they do need proper care to not only survive but thrive. Especially with the extreme environmental changes we have witnessed over the past five years. Yes, cedars do evolve and adapt to changes just as humans do but need time and a little helping hand to ensure they do it well. So with that in mind, here is a basic list of care to follow:


Best fertilizer for cedar hedges


Newly planted cedars trees can benefit from a high phosphorous fertilizer. In many cases, adding a fertilizer with a balance similar to 5-15-5 into water and thoroughly watering the newly planted tree can help to reduce transplant shock. Subsequent fertilization should be with a balanced fertilizer or with a higher nitrogen fertilizer with a balance similar to 30-10-10. A good organic alternative organic fertilizer is a combination of blood meal and bone meal mixed with some organic compost from your composter or can be purchased at the local garden center, like Dinter’s or Buckerfield’s.

What are the benefits of fertilizing my cedar hedge


Giving your cedar trees more phosphorous at planting will help provide nutrients to the roots as the tree becomes established in the new location. Higher nitrogen levels after the tree is established will help produce more green growth on the tree or shrub. Organic fertilizers at either time will provide a more gentle fertilization that will help protect top soil conditions for the life of the tree.

Considerations


If your tree is showing signs of under-fertilization, such as yellow leaves, you may want to have the needles tested for nitrogen content. In some cases, soil pH problems, such as a soil that isn’t acidic enough, may appear to be a fertilization problem. If your leaves have enough nitrogen, the yellowing leaves may be caused by another problem.

When can i fertilize my cedar hedge?


Begin fertilizing either at planting or in the spring after the tree has begun to grow. Cedars may appear healthy in the winter, but are often dormant. Fertilizing in the winter can cause a buildup of fertilizer in the soil that may result in spring over fertilization. Stop fertilizing in the fall when deciduous trees begin to lose their leaves.

When can I trim and prune my hedges?

Hedges, not unlike other plants also require their fair share of maintenance in order to look lush and healthy. They need formative pruning and general maintenance trimming to stay within bounds. As hedges are often made out of different varieties of trees and shrubs, it’s only normal that their pruning times vary. Same as with trees, there’s also a “best time” to cut your hedges back as well.

Trimming your hedges to stimulate growth

Formative trimming is performed for the first two to three years after the hedge has been planted. It’s usually carried out either in winter or early spring. While regular yearly pruning depends on the type of hedge you have.

The intention behind trimming hedges is to prevent dead or dying branches from harming neighbouring plants and people. By removing these branches you allow the hedge’s flowers or fruits to blossom. Unlike maintenance trimming, pruning isn’t done to slow down the growth of the hedge, but to actually stimulate it. Other reasons gardeners prune their hedges is to remove diseased or pest-ridden branches.

When can I do hedge maintenance

Maintenance trimming refers to tidying up a hedge or shrub by cutting back on overgrown branches. While pruning focuses on the hedge’s health and the safety of its surroundings, trimming is done mainly for aesthetic purposes. Yet, excessive overgrowth can also be harmful to your hedge as it can reduce the amount of light and moisture it receives, stuttering its growth. Therefore trimming is just as important as pruning.

Maintenance trimming is usually carried out once a year for informal hedges and twice for formal ones. However, there are certain hedges which might require three cuts a year. If you’re wondering when to trim your hedges, it’s usually done sometime between spring and summer.

You do, however, have to take into account potential nesting birds as nesting season may run from March to August. If you notice any nesting activity in your hedges, consider postponing the maintenance trimming for after the season passes.