Hedges: Small Cedar Hedge Dying

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by DianeLewis, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. DianeLewis

    DianeLewis Member

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    Because of the difficult winter here in the east, my 4-plant cedar hedge is dying. It is only 4 plants wide and about 6 feet high. I have put evergreen spikes in the ground and there isa lot of new growth on the top. There is also very little new growth on the sides, where I want it to afford me privacy, but it's very slow and sparse. I trimmed the growth at the top so sun and rain would get into the entire hedge, but don't know what else to do to help this little hedge.

    Help!
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    If your climate is too cold for the hedge you are going to continue to have problems with it, every time there is a sharp winter. Otherwise fertilization is used to correct mineral deficiencies, with there being a limit to how much growth a plant can make after it has been damaged by cold. Also fertilizer spikes are not a good choice because you pay extra to have granular fertilizer formed into a spike, which is a less effective way to fertilize than broadcasting the powder over the soil surface around the plant.
     
  3. DianeLewis

    DianeLewis Member

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    Thank you very much for your help. You are right about the spikes. I will go to a nursery and find someone who knows about evergreens to recommend the right fertilizer. If I cannot revive the cedars, I will hve to remove them, which breaks my heart since I have seen them grow from tiny. Thanks again.
     
  4. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    I have no experience with cedars, but usually conifers benefit from spraying with an epsom salt after winter damages. See instruction on the package for correct solution concentration and spreying interval.
     
  5. DianeLewis

    DianeLewis Member

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    Wow! Thank you! That is a very interesting treatment. I buy gallon containers of Epsom salts to bathe in. I will look for instructions there or call a nursery and see if theyknow the concentration I should use. Thanks so much. I may be able to save these after all.
     
  6. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Making sure plant cell sap has optimal salt levels immediately before a cold period assists with hardiness but dosing your planting with mineral salts - including fertilizer products - after it has already been damaged seems not likely to be helpful. And may even tax it further, because cold damage involves dehydration.

    Also as a general practice a garden soil should be sampled and analyzed before a fertilization regimen in undertaken. Otherwise the mineral content of a specific product being used may not line up well with what - if any - supplementation a particular soil may be improved by.
     
  8. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    I grow melons on very sandy soil. I apply epsom salt spray not as a fertilizer but more like a treatment, 2...3 times every summer. It has clearly visible positive response after first spraying, each year. Later spraying has less effect.
    My neighbor has used my epsom salt for successfully recovering his junipers from winter damages. The response on junipers was not so quick and not so obvious as with my melons, it took several months to completely recover from damages, but it seemed, that epsom salt still helped.

    Do not overdoze. Do not continue applying after damages are healed. It is often impractical to analyze the soil before applying any fertilizers or treatments for small gardeners. Analyses are often very costly. If you grow agricultural products or remove otherwise regularly organic matter from the soil (by collecting fallen leaves or lawn clippings into compost pile), then applying small or moderate dozes of general N-P-K fertilizers without prior analyses does not do any harm.

    By now any dehydration, that was caused by winter conditions, should be over.
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    it seemed, that epsom salt still helped

    Without a controlled study involving two sets of a significant number of matching plants growing under the same site and cultural conditions, except for one half of the set not being given the treatment being investigated then all that has been produced is a supposition.

    applying small or moderate dozes of general N-P-K fertilizers without prior analyses does not do any harm

    There is no way to know this in any specific instance without soil sampling and testing. If a given soil happens to be right on the edge of an overloading of something then repeated "small or moderate" doses might in fact push the quantity present into a toxic level. Most prevalent example being phosphorus, because a lot of it is present in fertilizer products - and it effectively does not leach. So repeated applications result in phosphorus accumulation. With many soils outside of heavily leached, rainy and sandy outer coastal areas already having adequate levels of phosphorus before any fertilization is undertaken.
     
  10. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    If you take regularily away nutriens from the soil by harvesting crops, then you should ammend nutrients by fertilizing the soil. What form of fertilizer you use, is up to you. Compost and manure are also fertilizers. Do you suggest to take analyses each time before you ammend even a compost?
    I think, that scientists are already measured, how much nitrogen, potassium or phosphorus is taken away from the field with harvested crops. So, if your cabbage grew well and you harvest it, then it's completely safe to ammend that amount of NPK without any analyses.
    Analyses are for those, who want to max out their production, or if you see, that there is something wrong with your soil nutrient balance, because your harvest is too small or plants are ill. There are symptoms, that tell you if there is strong deficiency or surplus of certain nutrients or minerals.

    Even controlled study might not give you a definite answer, too much might depend on chance. Studies have certainty factor. If you are happy with "controlled Certainty factor" then make your controlled studies. I am happy with my experiences and certainties, that base on those. I grew melons 20 years without applying an epsom salt, now I have used it 5 years, I see the difference. I never ever ordered any soil analyses. But never have left without harvest.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  11. DianeLewis

    DianeLewis Member

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    I would like to thank everyone for their interest and their advice. Once I've applied some of the above suggestions, I will let you know how my cedars are doing, what has worked and what has not.
    Thanks again! Very much appreciated.
     

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