Mature Western Red Cedar Rejuvenation

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by djperrin, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. djperrin

    djperrin Member

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    Harrison Hot Springs, Canada
    A 60 year plus (dbh~3 feet) Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) has pavement covering the front half of the base. The road pavement has been in place for many years. The CAO of the Village informs me the tree is "looking bad" and intends to remove the pavement and plant impatiens below to beautify for the Communities in Bloom Conference to be held here (Harrison Hot Springs, BC) in late spring or early summer. It doesn't look that "bad" to me. I think disturbing the roots could cause damage to them. What do other forum users think?
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Current appearance would be cause for concern if there has been a decline in recent years. Nobody here knows what tree has looked like in the past. It may have looked as it does now for decades. Appearance of this species varies markedly with site conditions. Lifting pavement shouldn't hurt unless soil is compacted or tree trunk/roots damaged (scraped, crushed) in process. Adding a little lightweight soil and fertilizing, watering summer annuals might actually produce an improvement. Species reaches best development when away from outer coast on stream terraces where some periodic episodal flooding may result in rapid deposition of mud over roots; should be tolerant of adding some soil for flower planting.

    Again, potential impacts of new scheme depend on how it is gone about.
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Does look a bit thin and yellowed, often a symptom of root damage due to soil compaction. May well be worth investigating soil decompaction (look up 'terravent'), trees often respond very well to that.
     
  4. djperrin

    djperrin Member

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    Thanks for the advice. The tree has looked rather yellow for the 17 years I have resided in HHS. I will pass on the advice to be careful not to damage the roots to our CAO and let him know the flower garden would be as help to the trees health. It is adjacent to the lake shore and never has been flooded since a dyke was built eons ago. In the mid nineties the water nearly made it up to the base but that's a long time ago. There are a series of WRCs along the Miami River including one opposite my property, all of which are rather yellow in appearance. Here's a photo of one of them for comparison:
     

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