Hedges: Cedar Hedges and Bugs

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by kom, May 2, 2007.

  1. kom

    kom Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario Canada
    Hi All,
    my first posting :-)
    I am considering planting Cedar trees as privacy screen along the my chain link fence.
    my friend told me a story about a house owner got rid of all the cedar hedge because it attracted bugs and small fries.

    Is this uncommon story?
    how can I keep bug and fly free or manage low, so I can enjoy back yard?

    thank you in advance all.
    kom
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,237
    Likes Received:
    344
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Maybe they were talking about mosquitoes using their hedge to stay out of the sun. However, it seems if those are around they will show up when the sun is obscured by clouds or is going down whether there is someplace for them to roost right in the same yard or not.

    "Small fries" do sometimes like to climb into or peer through hedges, but kids will carry on if not supervised whether there is a hedge or not.
     
  3. kom

    kom Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario Canada
    thank you Rob for the reply and humor on my spelling mistake :-)

    sounds like that Cedar is not attracted more than any other by bugs/flies.

    thanks,
    kom
     
  4. chowntown

    chowntown Active Member

    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    A note of caution about cedar hedging, specifically Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd'/'Emerald Green' which is the typical hedging cedar which I assume you are thinking of using. Though it is used entensively as hedging because it is slow growing only to 10-15', it is not the most reliable choice.

    Hedging cedars that are sold in B&B (ball and burlap) form are the worst way to buy them...they are poorly transplanted by growers from the ground to the burlap sack and they often are poorly transported as well too. It is typical to see 1-2 out of every 5 die when they are transplanted into the ground. They experience lots of stress before they even reach the garden centre and are usually neglected when they arrive at the garden centre. They will sit on asphalt/concrete and their root balls will absorb lots of heat which isn't good for them...especially if they are not watered consistently which is the case most of the time. It is generally a better bet to buy cedars that are in nursery pots...though they may not be as big or as cheap they often are better quality

    They are also notorius water consumers especially in their first season when they are planted and getting established. If they are not properly watered they will begin to turn brown, especially in the hot summer sun. If they are not properly distanced and not pruned their inner needles will begin to brown and fall off because of lack of sunlight. It is quite a nuisance to try to replace missing cedars in your hedge and can become quite expensive if many die.

    I have worked at a garden centre (not a big box) for 4+ years and I always have numerous complaints from customers about their browning/dying hedging cedars. I am not trying to discourage you from buying hedging cedars...just realize that they do require regular maintanence and watering. If properly taken care of they can make great hedges but there are also alternative hedging choices that are drought tolerant (once established), fast growing, and that even have flowers. For your consideration you might checkout other plants like Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Victoria' (California Lilac), Photinia fraserii, Escallonia 'Fradesii' (Pink Princess Escallonia), Prunus laurocerasus (English Laurel), Prunus lusitanica (Portugal Laurel), Ribes sanguineum (Flowering Currant), Osmanthus, Elaeagnus, Leylandii cypress, and Pyracantha.

    In response to your concerns about bugs, if the plant comes under stress from environmental conditions (not enough/too much water, heat/cold) it becomes more susceptible to bugs... spider mites are probably the biggest problems but they are not overly common.

    Good luck with whatever you choose!

    Eric
     
  5. kom

    kom Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario Canada
    Eric, thank you for the details, and alternatives.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,237
    Likes Received:
    344
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Not a dwarf. Grows taller than 15 ft. Problems with careless handling by suppliers, pathogenic diseases and soil texture differences* not a characteristic of cultivar. Lots of successful plantings around, despite these issues. Thin appearance (gaps in crown) due to poor site conditions. 'Smaragd' ("Emerald" is a translation, not the name of the plant) continues to be noticeable for having superior combination of compactness, narrowness, and good coloring produced by a comparatively inexpensively purchased and very easily found plant - all in one package.

    *http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~Linda Chalker-Scott/Horticultural Myths_files/Myths/B&B root ball.pdf
     

Share This Page