Help! is my hedge flagging or dying?

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by <Mike>, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. <Mike>

    <Mike> Member

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    Location:
    Victoria BC
    Please Help!
    http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=4064&stc=1
    http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=4065&stc=1
    http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=4066&stc=1
    I planted these last April. I bought them from a local nursery they are smaragd b+b's.
    I dug a trench placed aprox 4 inches of new topsoil, applied some bone meal then placed cedars at 24 inch o/c. I then removed twine and folded down the berlap then back filled with new top soil and added a root stimulater supplied by my nursery.
    I water every second day all summer and they were doing great. Now comes Fall and they are turning red in the center but the tops are looking good. I've searched the net about this and found they are dying or flagging...What do you guys think?
    Please Help, I'm a noob at hedges and really need some advise.
    BTW I live in Victoria BC Canada.
    Thankyou.
     

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  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    at a glance I would say it looks like flagging, summer stress basically. If you watered every second day, how much water did you give them? a sprinkle? a soaking? 5 minutes? 30 minutes? what did you use to water them? soaker/ sweat hose? lawn sprinkler? watering can? Personally I dont use both a root stimulator and bone meal, I prefer the bonemeal unless it is something that is under a lot of stress allready, then the root stimulator can give you faster results. With hedging cedars you should check every week or two during the growing season; take a piece of paper from your computer printer (white?) hold it like a dinner plate against the side of the cedars and give them a few raps with an open hand (the cedars) watch what falls on to the paper. ID anything that is moving and see if you need to take any action. Generally flagging will fall out during the next few weeks with a good windy day or two.
     
  3. <Mike>

    <Mike> Member

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    thanks.

    Thanks I used a soaker hose and let it run about 4 hours every second day.
    A question...I can stop watering soon right? I know they need deep root watering will I still have aid the rain and maybe keep watering say once a week?
    I sure hope your right about them just flagging.
    Thanks for your time...and helping a noob.
    Mike.

    Oh yeah...My house is built on an old gravel pit so it has very good drainage.
     
  4. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    good drainage is important info in dry weather. Now that we are starting to get more regular rains you can reduce the watering as Ma Nature takes care of it. Soaker hose is good.
     
  5. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Flagging - what is it?

    Sometime can someone explain to us what flagging
    is and the extent of it on Conifers in your area?

    Every year we see what some of us have called flagging
    on Coastal Redwoods and those trees just went through
    their slough off. After a good windy day this time of year
    we have a clean up to carry out ahead of us. Coastal
    Redwoods here is a standard landscape tree, by far one
    of the most widely planted trees around as there are
    relatively few new and newer landscapes (1980 - today)
    that do not have at least one Redwood tree planted in
    their yards.

    Years ago I learned this condition here in a warm and
    dry climate as being caused more so by Mites than Spider
    Mites rather than being a natural condition. There even
    was a time when our thinking was that a Tip Moth was
    aiding in the initiation of the flagging process on the
    Coastal Redwoods.

    Here, flagging on various forms of Conifers is seldom
    seen, even on trees in the higher elevations. We do see
    some symptoms of flagging on Chamaecyparis and some
    forms of Juniper but in most cases it is a Mite that is
    causing the discolored areas we are seeing. Aside from
    the Redwoods that do apparently naturally "flag", if we
    were to see the deadened areas of the growth on this hedge
    here and in the warmer areas of Southern Oregon, most
    people I know would be advising the owner to be spraying
    the trees with a form of miticide or its equivalent right now.
    I am not saying I am one of the spray proponents but I will
    say that what may be considered a normal, natural, condition
    for many Pacific Northwest areas would not be "read" or
    regarded as being the same here with our climate.

    Jim
     
  6. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Denman Island,BC
    Flagging in cedars

    Your pics don't look to me characteristic of "flagging" in that the dead parts are more to the interior of your hedge trees as opposed to on the branch tips. Late in every summer here (BC's gulf islands) the native cedars "self prune" and much of that is very apparently drought related. On land where the water courses are known, you can easily separate the "haves" from the "have nots" by the extent and timing of the die back. There may be additional causes or interacting stresses, but the process I have observed proceeds from the outside of the tree inwards, and from the top down. Some trees don't make it.
    Most established trees will look like hell till the first fall wind storm, then all the "flags" are blown off and everybody looks happy again.
    Cedar hedges sometimes seem to be a whole separate organism, and even well established ones will cull out individuals for no apparent environmental reason. I would certainly suggest an expert opinion for yours.
    Ralph
    PS Look for a very recent post in HortBoard by jimmyq about this same problem giving a very good Dept. of Ag web page about cedar rot.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2004
  7. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Hi Ralph:

    Below is the URL on Cedar hedges.

    http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/cedar.htm

    Balled and Burlap trees is a story all to itself.
    I've addressed the issue in some of my earlier
    UBC forum posts but more importantly I also
    told what I do about it. In time people will
    realize why I broke the root balls on all of the
    Dogwoods that came into the nursery from
    Oregon. We saw no more symptoms of
    Dogwood blight afterwards as a result. The
    basic issues we had with B&B Dogwoods also
    applies with other plants such as field grown
    Conifers, Magnolias and Japanese Maples.

    As far as a root rot hitting the trees of this hedge
    I have my doubts that is happening by where the
    deadened areas of the trees are located. What we
    are seeing is one of the reasons why I like to use
    overhead watering as an IPM preventative for
    several forms of Conifers.

    I am in complete agreement that the discolored
    areas we see in the picture of this hedge is not
    natural occurring, nor a normal cycle of flagging
    for these type trees, regardless of a prolonged or
    short term drought conditions.

    < Cedar hedges sometimes seem to be a whole separate
    organism, and even well established ones will cull out
    individuals for no apparent environmental reason. >

    There is a reason why but people have not paid particular
    attention to addressing the issue. We've seen almost the
    same type thing with Italian Cypress hedges here. Deep
    watering here, rather than soaker hoses or drip systems
    has a dramatic affect on the viability of the trees that make
    up our hedge. Especially true when the trees are young.
    Once established they can then be watered with a drip
    system or alternate watering systems but it is advisable
    not to start them out with restricted water. Mites seldom
    hit healthy trees. We've weakened the trees in some way
    and that is why drought is blamed on the demise of many
    plants when drought may have been the precursor to our
    problems but it was something else that eventually kills
    the plant! Our job is to prevent the latter.

    Jim
     
  8. <Mike>

    <Mike> Member

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    Location:
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    Well I went back to the nursery where I bought these trees...I noticed right away his trees had the same effect. He said its part of life and normal flagging...He said you can remove the dead by hand or just wait for a good wind. Please note this nursery has been in my city forever and has a very good rep.
    Since my visit I have looked at other hedges in my hood and they are also flagging/browning in the middle.
    He said the middle does'nt see much sun...also said if they survived August it's all good and at this time of year you dont want to stimulate growth...fertilize.
    Now that we are seeing more overcast/rain aswell as my weekly watering...they are looking much better...Well as good as others in my hood.
    Like I said in my first post, all summer they were beautiful,green,nice healthy tops...Then comes fall and were looking a little weathered.
    I think its normal and they are looking good now...So if any other noobs out there wondering about Fall browning/flagging its all normal on the west coast of BC!
    Thanks.

    <Edit>
    Please note I am not a professional...I build houses for a living...I am NOT a landscaper!
    </Edit>
    :)
     

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