Hedges: Cedar (Help!)

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by cecylo, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. cecylo

    cecylo Member

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    Location:
    Burnaby, Canada
    Hi everyone, this is my first time posting here. I got a very serious problem with my cedar trees.

    We have a lot of cedar trees surrounding our house. I am not sure what kind of the cedar trees they are but I suspected they are Thuja. If you live in Vancouver, you can see a lot of people use the cedar to separate the property and that's the one we have. I don't know how old the trees are, they are around 10 feet high and probably 2 feet wide. Since the trees are too near to our house and blocked our path to our backyard, my husband decided to trim the side of the trees so that there will be a walkable path. The problem is my huband has been trimming too much. He cut all the green leaves and the small branched on one side about 5 feet in height and the trees ended up looking very terrible. The leaves near to the trunk are all dead and turned brown. So it looks like having a big brown hole in the cedar dividing wall. My questions are:

    1) Will the leave and branches grow back?
    2) How long will it takes?
    3) What should I do to make the leaves grow faster?
    4) Is it a better idea to replant the cedar?
    5) Since the leaves near the trunk are all dead (it looks green and very heathy at the outter layer tho), what can I do to make the trees more healthy without dead leaves inside?

    Please help! Thank you very much.
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    off the cuff answers:
    1) maybe but unlikely.
    2) you may see shoots within a couple months, you may not get shoots.
    3) Ensure the trees get proper watering and fertilizing if necessary.
    4) Probably not, unless you have time to wait for the new ones to grow in.
    5) The interior is usually free of needles and leaf scales, there is no light to support them.
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Cedar is Cedrus, not Thuja.

    If yours is a Thuja, then no, it won't grow back where it has been cut into brown stems, it only regenerates from green foliage. So you have two options:
    1. remove and replace.
    2. alternatively, trim off the branch stubs so you have clean trunks. That could look quite nice in the long term, though you won't have the screening any more.
     
  4. oscar

    oscar Active Member

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    agreed with the previous posts.....doesnt sound too good to me :(

    could you post a picture, im just curious as to which plant it is and how much they have been cut back.
     
  5. Cakes

    Cakes Member

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    Location:
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    many kinds of cedars are called "thuja"

    Cedar trees only grow from the tips of the branches. So if you want the parts next to the trunk to grow, then you have to cut the branches all the way back.

    ^but they might/probably wont grow back, it depends on how thick the branches are that get cut off.

    if you want to try it or if you just go ahead and cut the branches off because they are ugly then you can plant vines or skinny bushes or something while you are waiting for the branches to grow back.

    For food, cedar trees like loamy soil and minerals. So you could use compost and kelp (<seaweed) . Put a lot of those things on top of the soil every year if you want your plants to grow as fast as they can. Pour on the compost about 4-6 inches thick every year and add a couple of cups of dried seaweed per plant. Since you live by the ocean, maybe you can just get a bunch of seaweed from the beach every time you go and then make compost from that or just put it straight down on the dirt by your trees<do this in the spring (or whenever you can).

    worms help a lot with that stuff

    You can also buy other kinds of fertilizers to feed them. here's one example, a kit for cedars is about $30 USD shipping included:
    http://www.treehelp.com/shopping/soil-kits.asp
     
  6. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Oscar, it is likely Thuja occ. smaragd or pyramidalis, they are horribly common here
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Thuja occidentalis 'Pyramidalis' = T. occidentalis 'Fastigiata'.
     
  8. pierrot

    pierrot Active Member 10 Years

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    Common names are always confusing

    thuja is a cedar in this part of Canada but if you go to the southern hemishpere in new zealand Red Cedar is A podocarp Dacrydium cupressinum (Rimu) while in that other country they will bring you a eucalypt

    I guess the cedars here (cypresses really) were called that due to the similarities between the genera when foresters and loggers looked at wood characters
     
  9. oscar

    oscar Active Member

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    Thanks jimmyq,
    now i see where the confusion comes from T. occidentalis, common name White cedar

    my book says smaragd is dwarf 3ft high by 36" spread, that doesnt sound quite right, im sure i have seen bigger than that........could it be the book is wrong or all smaragds are not smaragd.

    I think i'll give up horticulture and find something easier to do, brain surgery or quantum physics. :D
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Heights are always representative--Your Mileage May Vary--plus there is a time factor involved. Look at the front of your book and see if the heights given represent what might by expected in so many years. 3 foot emerald aborvitae are readily found in nurseries here, so from that alone you know it does not take a long time for one to get that high--under nursery conditions, anyway, where the grower may be using particular techniques to grow them quickly.

    I have seen this cultivar at least triple that height, and probably much taller than that. Keep in mind that trees do not stop growing larger until they die or die back, the common idea that a tree will grow to a predetermined height and then stop is false.
     

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