Hedges: new emerald cedar problems

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by Beedee33, May 13, 2007.

  1. Beedee33

    Beedee33 Member

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    Hello!

    I just started gardening this year, so I hope someone can help me out. We bought 4 6' Emerald Cedars for an informal hedge at the back of the property (Lethbridge, Alberta). The soil here is heavy clay, with lots of gravel and small stones. I dug a trench 18" deep and about 2' wide, mixed peat (about 20-30%), top soil (soil tests indicated great Nitro, low Phos and Pot, and ph @ 6) and a few handfuls of Basic Plant Food (dry pellets, 4-14-4) with the native soil. The plants were bought in containers; they were somewhat pot bound. We did not loosen the root ball. We planted in this mix approx. 6 weeks ago, and all was well until last week. I've noticed the tips of the trees on top (top 6'-10") have lost their leaves/scales and are down to twigs. They are also turning a yellow brown colour. There rest of the tree looks fine so far. I am concerned this will carry on down the tree, as it seems to get be spreading a little each day. We have not fertilized apart from the plant food.

    We have been watering each night or two (about 5-10 minutes spray with a hose) unless it rains (not much of that in Lethbrdige). The property slopes gently toward the back (where cedars are) and into the back lane. The cedars are in a slightly raised bed 8" high, and the surronding ground is rocky (gravel, and, of course, the clay). The weather has been nice but not too hot or windy. Little rain. The trees get full sun all day.

    Is the soil too acidic? Are we overwatering? Did I not dig deeply enough? Too much sun? I am stumped. Please help before we lose them all. I hope I've provided enough info, if not, please ask for more.

    Thank you so much!

    Beedee
     
  2. Beedee33

    Beedee33 Member

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    Help to save my browning cedar hedge

    Hello Again

    I am the one with the new Emerald Cedars that are browning and thinning at the tops. I thought I'd add a few pictures, as I realize these things are hard to pinpoint without a visual. Can someone please help me out? I don't know if they are suffering from too acidic soil, too much/little water, bad soil conditions or??? I would very much like to save these trees. There has also been some construction (city crew) in the lane behind the cedars, so this may be the trouble. Any and all advice welcome!

    For more info, my previous thread is entitled "new emerald cedar problems" and was posted on May 13th. I'm new to the Forum, so not sure if I can link this posting up with the previous one or not. I would very much appreciate some feedback from those who have more experience and knowledge than I possess. Thank you so much!

    Beedee
     

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  3. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member 10 Years

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    Sure sounds like you went out of your way to make for a good planting. As for the depth to plant, you need to locate the root crown and try to keep it close to the surface, you don't want to have the trunk buried. Acidity I wouldn't think to be too big of an issue in the soil, but granular fertilizer mixed directly in the soil mix when planting could possibly effect roots if in direct contact, even that is slim to none.

    Have you tried digging into the root ball and using your finger to gauge the moisture? It kind of sounds like these trees just don't seem to be rooting fast enough. Maybe try to lightly dig around the rootball a bit to get a look and see how it is doing. Might be able to bust it up a little if it still seems hard and dry. If it is really wet and sogged, still maybe try to bust it up a little, but wet is a good thing for the 1st month or so until it is rooting.

    That's about all I can think of, although I am not a tree planter nor a landscaper so someone else may have better experience . Good Luck,,,,, Jim.!
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2007
  4. Beedee33

    Beedee33 Member

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    Thank you so much for replying. I haven't been in town to deal with the problem for a few days, and today is rainy, but as soon as the sun shines I'll check the roots out. I really appreciate your input, and I think it's a good lead to follow!

    Beedee
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    As an aside, these look like 'Fastigiata' or a similar, more loose, less green cultivar and not the emerald arborvitae ('Smaragd').
     
  6. madhatter

    madhatter Active Member

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    new emerald cedar care

    I am putting in a new emerald cedar hedge and need some advice. I am taking out the old hardpan soil and mixing in landscapers soil.
    1.How deep should I dig down,how wide will the roots need to spread (they are going in next to a concrete sidewalk on one side but soil all other sides),
    2.how will concrete effect the soil and do I need to compensate, when is the last date this fall I should plant them ( I have to wait for some construction work to complete before I can put them in), 3.how far apart should they be planted, how close to a solid fence can they be planted without damaging that fence in years to come,
    4. how do I take care of them on a yearly basis, how do I help them transplant successfully
    5.what size is best for transplanting
    6. Where's the cheapest place to buy ones that are at least 6' tall in the BC lowermainland.
    If you can only answer one or two, can you just use the number the question is listed under and reply to that.


    Thanks
     
  7. TownMouse

    TownMouse Member

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    Ron's post was of 2007, I think -- hope someone still reads/replies. My 25 "emerald" arborvitae wre planted about 4.5 years ago. They seem to be getting quite floppy-branched -- and I wonder if they were mislabeled (never considered it until reading this post).

    If they were mislabeled (LOWE's delivered; I saved tags), how would I prove it in order to have the retailer make things "right"?
     

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