Techny cedars browned tips

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by Nate, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. Nate

    Nate New Member

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    Hey everyone,

    I planted a hedge of 65 cedars a year and a half ago and 2 of them started showing problematic signs. They have yellow/brown tips all over them. Its very random and all over the plants. One of the plants is near the road and the other is in the backyard.

    One other question. Why are the cedars that are planted in sun a paler uglier green color than the ones under by trees in the shade?

    Thanks for any help you guys can offer.

     

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  2. Robert Pogson

    Robert Pogson New Member

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    These cedars are native to rather damp areas of forest/swamp with a lot of decaying detritus in the soil. The plant at the road may be getting too much drainage for the water it receives. Try giving it a bit more water particularly in dry spells.

    When the trees are young their need for water is very acute. They are not casting enough shade to protect their own soil and it can dry out rapidly at times. Typically, one needs to water them very well for at least three years by which time their root system and branches will be in better balance. Likely they grew in pots watered frequently at a nursery and may not have the right balance of root/top. The green coloration is chlorophyll and a shade-tolerant plant will produce a lot more in shade than a plant getting full sun. With enough water and a tiny amount of fertilizer each spring you should expect beautiful results. You will know you've made it when the birds think they provide enough cover for nests and the deer and rabbits can nibble with no harm done. Normally no pruning is needed but if you need to penetrate a hedge or something like that, do it in stages as the interior of the plant will have very little greenery but it can adapt to pruning gradually. I recommend planting with good spacing for mature plants and leaving a ~50% wider gap where you want to keep a walkway or other opening.

    These are some of the most beautiful trees a homeowner can grow. They make great features, hedges, windbreaks and they provide shelter for many creatures great and small. They also live for ages in ideal conditions so plan ahead.
     
  3. Nate

    Nate New Member

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    Hey Robert

    Thanks for the reply. What do you recommend for fertilizer and how much? And should I just mulch the plants in full sun to save myself the constant watering? I do actually try to keep them watered very well but full sun is hard to compete with as well as the dry hot winds. We are getting drier and drier summers these days as well.

    I fill the cedars up about twice a week but the water drains fairly quickly so I'm guessing they aren't keeping as wet as I may think.
     
  4. Robert Pogson

    Robert Pogson New Member

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    Perhaps you need a soaker hose and timer. Mulch will help keep the wind and sun off the soil. That might help too. You could try watering a larger area around the cedars, not just the roots. If hot dry days are long, it might help to water a bit in early morning and then on a timer every 6h or so. If drainage is good you can't water too much. A bit of well-decayed compost can serve as mulch and fertilizer. Apply early in the year to cover the period of heavy growth. If your soil is in any way deficient try a general water-soluble fertilizer in the watering once a month until about mid-season. Another option that works is a slow-release fertilizer applied in spring. Not too much. The trees are still small and not needing much, perhaps just a teaspoon of dry fertilizer per tree spread out a bit farther than the branches.
     
  5. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford Active Member

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    Put down 4 layers of cardboard and 3 inches of wood chips. The cardboard reduces weed competition. Cardboard and woodchips will hold moisture longer.

    Drip irrigation is cheap. You need 1/2 dripline, 2 drippers per tree (in case one gets clogged) a filter, a drip line to water hose adapter. Typical cost will be around $40 + 2 bucks a tree. Set the timer to water weekly or every 2 days, and adjust the time depending on the weather.
     

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