Cedar hedge lost foliage close to ivy/fence

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by Nick F, Mar 21, 2021.

  1. Nick F

    Nick F New Member

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    I planted cedar hedge about 5 years ago and one part was close to some fencing covered by ivy. I removed the fence and ivy last November and found that the cedar foliage on that side was totally dead. The other side of the hedge looks fine. Is there some way to bring this side of the hedge back to life? ( Location: Vancouver)
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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2021
  2. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    It takes some years, before the hedge will significantly recover. But finally it will recover, if you let it to recover.
     
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  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Thujas (Thuja occidentalis) not cedars (Cedrus). They won't grow new foliage where the old foliage has died (due to lack of light) - they'll be premanently brown there. Plant a new row of shrubs in front of them, or put up a new fence.
     
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  4. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Of those2 options, I would choose to put up a new fence. A row of shrubs planted in front of the hedge would make your space even more narrow. Besides that, it could be difficult for new shrubs to compete for root space and water where the existing hedge is so well established.

    It is true that, over time, branches with green leaves opposite the dead side will gradually grow into the space but, frankly, I don't think it's worth waiting for what could be a rather unsatisfactory result.
     
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  5. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Good morning Nick and welcome to the forum. I fully agree with Margot and Michael, I had the same problem in a garden a few decades ago and the hedge 'Never' recovered however hard I tried to promote growth. Although Sulev is also right in that if you give it long enough!!! But that will be many years of an ugly sight.
    The light reduction over many years from your fence is like a dense canopy in a fir tree woodland, everything below is dead. Even with my hobby of growing maples, if the canopy is thick then I will have many dead branches at the end of the season; fortunately these trees will re bud and grow once light gets to them. Yours is doubtful.
    So IMO I would consider replacing the fence panels and grow some nice plants in front to mask the fence. One trick is to paint the fence panels black, they then dissappear. I have done this in my present garden and it makes my trees and plants pop with colour. Worth a try!!?
    Good luck with whatever you decide.
     
  6. Nick F

    Nick F New Member

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    Thanks for your responses - obviously I was hoping for a magic spray that would regenerate the foliage . . . Is there a grafting option, perhaps?

    Alternatively, what would be an evergreen shrub option? Or should I plant another row of tiny hedge on the inside?
     
  7. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Oh if only there was such a spray, we could all have done with such a product over the years, lol.
    But to answer your question, yes you can plant new cedars in front of the old ones, a neighbour of mine did so to fill in gaps left after a fence was removed, but and here is the but, it has taken about 10 years to fill in as the roots from the old hedge take out an enormous amount of nutrients and water from the soil around where new trees are planted.
    Even a tough evergreen shrub option will struggle under existing cedars. If you do go down that route, IMO the soil would need replenishing to improve the health of the soil with added nutrients etc before any planting is carried out and a regular watering regime for the first couple of years until the new shrubs establish.
     
  8. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Another alternative to planting a parallel hedge (which I think would have a hard time competing with the established one) is to place perhaps 5 - 7 good-sized containers in a row in front of the dead portion of the hedge and plant small shrubs or grasses which would camouflage the damage behind. I'd choose pots made of concrete, fibreglass, resin or something which wouldn't rot like those made of wood. You could rig up automatic irrigation to keep maintenance low.
     

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