Cedar hedges - need input

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by Sean Ruczko, Aug 24, 2020.

  1. Sean Ruczko

    Sean Ruczko New Member

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    Hello, came across this forum and looks like we've got lots of smart folks that know about plant life... I got 32 hedges installed one month ago and since then they've been slowly turning more yellow from the bottom. Its not clear to me what might be happening....

    I water them nightly, usually about 6 hours with a soaker hose. The soil was brought in for planning as the earth was too dry with large roots. The soil feels moist however I don't believe it's 'wet' - I'm not an expert.

    I had professionals install the cedars (Fraser Valley Cedars) and I believe they did a good job bringing in dirt and planting them just beneath the soil.

    Thoughts on what might be happening? The growing on the tips seems to have stopped and its the bottoms that's new. Should I be concerned at this stage?
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd'. And just about the worst time of year to be doing a project like this - poke around in the original soil balls to see what the moisture situation actually is. Including well back past the outer inch or so.
     
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  3. Sean Ruczko

    Sean Ruczko New Member

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    I did go about 5 inches towards the bottom of one of them. It still felt moist to me. Are you thinking that it might be dry?
     
  4. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor

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    It looks to me like the trees are struggling to obtain enough water to satisfy. Were they given a thorough watering right after planting? Whether they were dug up just before planting in your garden, or whether they were already in pots, you can be sure that trees the height of yours are missing a lot of root mass. Not only are they dealing with inadequate roots, they were also planted at just about the warmest, dryest time of the year when the leaves are losing more water than they should to evapouration.

    The best times of year to plant or transplant most trees, shrubs and perennials is in the early spring and early fall when the temperatures are cooler and there's more rain to help the plants settle in and grow new roots. Your soaker hose may not be providing enough water to keep the entire root ball to keep it moist. I've seen some hoses that spray water along their length and others that just drip. Check to make sure water is going where its needed over the entire area. Those cedars on the other side of the fence will always compete for available water in years to come so it will be important to water the hedge regularly and thoroughly. Ideally, the soil should be kept moist, not wet.

    Having said that, I'd be surprised if your trees will die as long as you keep them watered adequately until fall rains begin. The dry leaves will fall off but new growth should fill in around the empty spaces. It may take a year or two before they really perk up. Those cedars on the other side of the fence will always compete for available water in years to come so it will be important to water the new hedge regularly and thoroughly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
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  5. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @Sean Ruczko good morning, I think you have fallen into the trap of being told that potted trees compared to bare root can be planted at anytime of the year. This really should not be the information given at garden centres etc. They should be saying "plant when the conditions are right". Even in early Autumn there can be a month of heat and little to no rain.
    But now you are here, it is a case of catch up for your Cedars. Drying winds in the Summer cause more damage to newly planted trees than anything else. I presume you cannot put up temporary screening to protect them as this is definitely what is needed. They also need a good drenching from above IMO as well as the watering from below. Nature gives rain to all the plant and not just to the roots. So replication of nature is necessary.
    Regarding watering, I always ensure I soak to the drip area of my trees and not just by the trunk and if the weather is dry, I will water until the first frosts. I also water well in the Spring ( March and April). A lot of people do not, but I have found it sets all my trees up well for the Summer.

    One other point to make is that Cedars will yellow a bit after planting, they really don't like their roots being disturbed, but will settle down in the following years. As others have already said, I think they will recover.
     
  6. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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    There are a lot of quandaries & inputs on UBC forums about these ubiquitous hedge plants, aren’t there

    I looked at your pix — and are these planted on top of a berm ? It looks like a slope - and if so, has this been created recently? Of what material?

    One thing we’ll never know is when these plants were dug up and from where and how stored and cared for before they arrived at your property.

    I agree w Ron and also Margot - this is usually not time of yr to plant major landscaping - and as Margot points out, the natural rain season at the coast is ideal starting usually October.

    That said - I once had small shorter ones of similar or same hedge planted in June July but contractor did not berm and also we just left our soaker hose on (I cannot recall the watering restriction rules that year - it was maybe 13 yrs ago at the coast)

    Yes, do look inside the root ball the tree came with. It might be compacted and therefore not receiving the moisture the surrounding earth is receiving.

    Also - I would expect one or two of the 30 plants to die off ... based on what one observes driving thru a newish suburbia subdivision — make sure you replace with exactly the same type

    I agree - keep watering and see what happens

    Also - I would keep photos and receipts and emails and whatever else you have regarding this expensive purchase and install ... and contact the company ASAP sooner than later so it can be resolved to everyone’s mutual agreement
    ————-
    Here is one thread I can find quickly
    Cedar hedge idea

    This is about a different plant making a hedge in West Van but might have info
    .. British Columbia: - What's happening to these cedars?


    Someone else about their hedge
    Emerald Cedar issue?


    There was also the really long thread fr someone in Victoria all about new hedge install - I think it was also 2019.
    I think in the end they planted laurel that the male deer rubbed but I think there was some conversation about cedar hedges too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
  7. Sean Ruczko

    Sean Ruczko New Member

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    The trees where cut out the day before install and done within about 30 hours - I do know they where kept wet as to not dry out. Fraser Valley Cedar installed them and I do know they are recognized as experts in the field. I have been in contact with them however they do not warranty these as they where not container grown, I needed the extra height which they couldn't provide in containers.

    The soil was brought in new and yes, it is slopped. I agree that the soaker might not be hitting the root balls perfectly - when I've dug into the trees they roots/balls appear to be moist. In the last week I started soaking them from the top a little bit as well. Usually around 1-2 minutes per day, per tree of top down soaking and of course 6-8 hours per night via the soaker hose.
     
  8. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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    (I realize no warranty but ...) Does the supplier have any suggestions for you ?

    They would know their product and its maintenance and so forth

    Pls do post an update - it is a popular topic (hedges)
     
  9. Sean Ruczko

    Sean Ruczko New Member

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    So far he's hinted at watering and stress - I've asked for someone to come by and even have a look but that's not something that they have done, I've shared photos which seems to be working. I get its not their role to play as post install its on the customer however I'm with you, its a product like many others and supporting past install would be great. I don't think he's a fan of mine as the yard was hard to install in and the addition of the dirt was a last minute need, which I paid for of course.

    I will happily update as things continue and I appreciate everyone's feedback.
     
  10. Sean Ruczko

    Sean Ruczko New Member

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    latest update - I think I've been overwatering a bit and they seem to be browning a bit more. I've since scaled back my overnight watering and have been monitoring soil more closely. Thoughts?
     

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  11. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @Sean Ruczko good evening Sean, A good watering once a week should be fine. But actually checking to see if they need watering rather than a regimented system is by far the better option. Roots need oxygen and they are starved of this if over watered. Hence the need for a good free draining substrate.
    A very good idea by you !!!
     
  12. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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    Thé one detail i am curious about is - on their own website Fraser Valley discusses ball root (vs containerized).... and apparently supplied ball root to your project

    Granted - maybe your trees were dug by hand labor —— but in the winter months between October 2019 to March 2020? (The best months as they suggest on their website)

    It is puzzling - did they explain clearly to you before you signed on the dotted line

    Regardless - you have the hedge now and just need it to settle in and look good. Only time will tell.
     

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  13. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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    And - your artfully placed rocks look nice

    One important chore to be on top of ASAP is what appears to be a very invasive weed before it seeds and runs underground too

    And starts binding its way through your new hedge

    You must dispose of it properly

    It’s the « bindweed » also called Morning Glory - i think I see it near another plant I am not a fan of (cotoneaster) but that’s more a personal preference (caution with the red berries if you have children and or pets)

    I made an enlargement of one of your own photos

    And here is an old thread with reply fr Douglas Justice

    How to remove unwanted Morning Glory
     

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    Last edited: Aug 31, 2020
  14. Sean Ruczko

    Sean Ruczko New Member

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    They dug them up the day before, I'm not sure if they used a machine or hand - as you said, they are mine now and I have 32 headaches everyday now :)
     
  15. Sean Ruczko

    Sean Ruczko New Member

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    Yes, I'm realizing that now - I'm worried that I may have gone too aggressive and possibly damaged the roots... not sure though.... I'll keep monitoring. I will give them a light sprinkle on the leaves daily so they get some top down moisture but a deep soak will come in only when necessary.
     
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  16. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor

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    The fact that some of trees look good while others show so much browning suggests to me that the problem is more with individual trees than the overall site. And that problem originated with the severe loss of roots when they were dug up which resulted in too little water to support the leaves during the warm, dry days following. Some trees have suffered more than others and one or two may need to be replaced.

    https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/f...and-crops/plant-health/dying-cedar-hedges.pdf

    It could be awkward to check properly to determine if the soil is moist enough before watering. The fact that they are shallow-rooted and are planted somewhat above grade should ensure good drainage so I would suggest watering them every second or third day until the autum rains take over. Even then, rain may not be enough on its own.

    The interior leaves of cedars usually start to go brown at this time of year - this is called flagging and is a normal part of their life cycle. If you want to remove them, the jet of a hose should do the trick. Hold off on fertilizing at least until spring and use sparingly if at all.


    Good luck - the hedge looks beautiful and will become more so as time goes by.
     
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  17. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @Sean Ruczko I know you have neen asked before, but please do update the thread fairly regularly, as I for one would like to see how these turn out.
     
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  18. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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    Sean - I agree w Margot as well

    Also see my post re bindweed this morning 943am PDT

    It might have got missed in the flurry of inputs and replies

    Be sure to read carefully the old thread about bindweed (link on my post) and dispose of this weed properly never on your compost pile or green bin.
     
  19. Sean Ruczko

    Sean Ruczko New Member

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    How can I tell if it's bindweed or morning glory? - I just wanted some privacy and now I'm becoming a full on gardener ha ha :)
     
  20. Sean Ruczko

    Sean Ruczko New Member

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    I attached a couple close ups of the bush, is this what you are thinking it is? Morning glory?
     

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  21. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @Sean Ruczko bindweed is a member of the morning glory family and your photos could be one of very many. But all difficult to remove. Just one small piece of the rhizomes and back it comes next year.
    The removal must be meticulous and looking at how it is in your Cottoneaster it may be very difficult to achieve.
    But @Georgia Strait is right, it must be tried, otherwise it will take over the area sooner rather than later.
    Sorry not to have an easy answer to this well known problem Sean.
     
  22. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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    Yep - the insidious bindweed

    Esp confirmed if it flowers with white blooms that fade (shrivel) fast

    I would be on that ASAP

    Yes you may think it’s gone cuz you removed the visible vine —- but it’s the underground root system that just takes over and you will be cursing it for years :(

    As will your neighbors .
     
  23. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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    And you have cotoneaster (the evergreen low growing shrub w red berries)

    And I think the other plant is fine - it is a weed for some people and it self seeds

    But is easy to remove

    And the bees and hummingbirds like it

    Linarea purpurea (spell?)

    Apparently blue-purple is attractive to bees because of a special light halo (physics?)

    Purple spike flower for bees and humm birds
     
  24. Sean Ruczko

    Sean Ruczko New Member

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    Latest update, Ive been watching the moisture level and they are retaining water it looks like. I had a 4 day stretch where I didn’t soak and the water moisture was showing 10/10 on most of them still. I did a light sprinkle over the top usually daily and I raked some of the dead off...

    The weed/bush/thing you mentioned got ripped out 20 minutes after you said they could hurt my cedars LOL.

    Thoughts?
     

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  25. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @Sean Ruczko good evening Sean, IMO it is now a waiting game. Recovery can take a couple of years I'm afraid.
    If the water level is still fine after 4 days then I think when you were watering so much, it caused oxygen starvation to the roots and possibly some root rot.
    A correct watering regime may well see some benefits next Spring.
     
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