Ceder hedge brown inside.

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by 56bernie, Jun 18, 2021.

  1. 56bernie

    56bernie New Member

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    Good day. I live in Kelowna and have a couple questions regarding my ceders. The hedge gets regular water, always has. It's about 20 years old. It was always trimmed yearly until about 4 years ago but has been neglected since then due to illness in the family. My questions are why are there so many seeds on the branches. Also the hedge is nice and green on the outside but about 6 to 8 inches in it is all brown. Can I trim 3 to 4 inches off without hurting them? And will the inside green up a bit when it is trimmed. I have attached a few photos. Thanks for any info you can give me.
     

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  2. Sulev

    Sulev Well-Known Member

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    Cedar hedge needs regular care, if you expect perfect appearance from it. Branches, that don't get enough light, turn brown, You should never trim all the green part off the branch. To shine up neglected hedge takes several years of careful trimming,
    Cones are natural property of cedar trees. If you don't trim, then cones can freely develop.
     
  3. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Your hedge looks very healthy to me. Even though it is an 'evergreen' hedge, the leaves eventually die after 3 or 4 years, especially the old ones closest to the trunk. This is called 'flagging'. You can and should shear the hedge regularly, making very sure to leave a least 2 inches of green leaves beyond the brown ones. It is best to prune sparingly.

    While some cedar hedge flagging is normal, you can minimize foliage loss by keeping your hedge well watered, especially during periods of summer drought.

    Always prune hedges so the top is slightly narrower than the bottom, not straight and box-like. This allows light to reach all parts of the plant and keeps your hedge green from top to bottom. Summer is usually recommended as the best time to shear a cedar hedge.
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) not cedar (Cedrus). Looks healthy to me too.
     
  5. Sulev

    Sulev Well-Known Member

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    Thuja occidentalis aka Northern White Cedar?
     
  6. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    I'm not sure there's any point quibbling about the correct botanical name of the trees in @56bernies hedge unless it makes a difference to how he should trim it. Evergreen conifer hedges planted with Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar), Tsuga heterophylla (Hemlock), Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas Fir), or Cupressocyparis leylandii (Leyland Cypress) should be pruned in generally the same way as all 'arborvitae' hedges. There are many websites that go into great detail about when, how and why.
     
  7. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Can it then be assumed to be the cultivar 'Smaragd'?
     
  8. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    There are a number of Thuja occidentalis cultivars. 20 years ago, the cultivar 'Pyramidalis' was very popular but, as I tried to point out in post #6, knowing the name doesn't really matter because the same general principles apply to pruning all 'cedar' hedges as well as other conifer hedges.

    In short, don’t cut the top until it has reached the desired height, only cut where it’s green, never cut into old wood, keep the base slightly wider than the top.

    It is also a good idea to remove accumulated dead foliage inside the plant annually or more frequently to improve air circulation and reduce chance of disease.
     

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