Need advise for a cedar hedge in TERRIBLE shape

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by smoochy123, May 27, 2009.

  1. smoochy123

    smoochy123 Member

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    toronto, canada
    I would really appreciate any advise/tips regarding an old cedar hedge at my Grandparents. The hedge hasn't been pruned in years..I would say it is approx 8-11 feet (the height varies in certain parts of the hedge) and approx 25 feet long. Deer have also eaten away most of the bottom part of the hedge. I have read about hanging soap slivers or hair in old pantyhose inside the hedge to keep the deer away. I was planning on cutting approx 2-3' off the hedge and pruning the sides as well. Basically, is there any hope at all for this hedge? I have attached some pictures of it.
    Thank you.

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  2. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Britain zone 8/9
    They are Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) not cedars (Cedrus).

    Not much you can do, and certainly no way of getting the base to fill in again, unfortunately. Arborvitae can't be cut back more than a very small amount; if they are cut back beyond the green foliage, it leaves a bare dead area (as your deer have already shown!) which won't recover. You could either leave them as a row of trees and accept the space under the crowns (or plant shade-tolerant shrubs to fill the gap), or else remove them altogether and start over. If replanting, or adding shrubs, you will have to put up fencing to keep deer out of the area altogether; soap and socks don't work well enough to protect a large hedge.

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