Trees (cedar?) : Help with ID and diagnosis

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by 8Peonies, Aug 9, 2021.

  1. 8Peonies

    8Peonies Active Member

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    I have these trees (well over 15 years). I am not sure the identification of these trees but I am guessing that they are cedar. They are evergreen and do not produce any cones. Confirmation as to ID and species would be much appreciated . Of concern, these trees had started developing "cracks" and "splits" starting at the base of the tree ~ 3 years ago. Would appreciate any advice as to treatment or management of this issue and the diagnosis of this "cracking" or "splitting". Have attached photos for ID purposes and the "cracks" . Thank you kindly. cedar5 - lined.jpg cedar6- leaves.jpg cedar7 - leaves.jpg cedar1.jpg cedar2.jpg cedar3.jpg cedar4.jpg
     
  2. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    It looks like the damage is oriented in the same direction on all trees which suggests sun damage. Does it fit with the direction of the sun at certain times of the day? Or time of year? Normally the foliage would protect the bark from the sun but the lower branches have been removed.

    As for ID, I am no good at conifer identification, but likely some type of Thuja or related. I am sure a more enlightened person will be along soon to give an exact ID.
     
  3. 8Peonies

    8Peonies Active Member

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    Thanks for yr feedback. Yes, I do have trees lined adjacent on the other side (northwest) and there are neither cracks nor splitting in those trees as in those lined northeast.
     
  4. 8Peonies

    8Peonies Active Member

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    maf,
    I rechecked all the trunks and it would seem to confirm that the position of the trees that were all affected is facing the sun, particularly getting morning sun and extreme afternoon sun. With that in mind, if you or anyone has suggestions as to what can be used to cover to protect them from the direct heat - much appreciated. I have seen in some places where they have been painted with something white (what would that be)...though admit aesthetically not appealing and wonder re toxicity. Whatever I cover these with wiuld require that trees can have plenty if air down there or can breathe otherwise fungus will accumulate. Because BC is usually so wet, these trees do accumulate a green colored type of fungus which I normally brush off.

    I have uploaded an additional pic showing holes in the trunk of the damaged area. Any idea what may have caused these? I guess due to the vulnerability by the sun's damage, it leaves insects to possibly attack the weak structures if the tree. I do not see any insects but notice there are plenty of holes. 20210809_165406.jpg
     
  5. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I am not sure what type of wood boring insects are prevalent in your region but those holes don't look like a good sign.

    I agree if you try to wrap the trunks it will either keep moisture in or provide safety for insect pests. The only thing I can think of is to put up a bamboo or wooden or similar screen in front of the trunks such that it blocks the sun at the critical time of day and still allows air in. Even if you can protect the trees from future damage there is no guarantee that they will recover - time will tell.
     
  6. 8Peonies

    8Peonies Active Member

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    Thank you kindly for all the feedback and suggestions you have given.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Thuja plicata
     
  8. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    Thuja plicata | Landscape Plants | Oregon State University

    Lots of people plant these because they are free $

    I have several seeding freely at the coast

    I don’t know I would use these as a hedge

    Esp one that the humans would like to maintain at 3 feet wide and 12 feet tall and have it solid privacy top to bottom

    I don’t know the “reason” for the split your photos show

    Maybe a previous gardener trimmed branches and peeled the bark at same time ?

    I tend to be on the practical side of gardening - are these plants doing what you’re hoping for? Without a lot of water / chemicals / machine shearing etc / wildfire risk ?
     
  9. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Thuja plicata - these are the cherished giants that inhabit old-growth forests. With few exceptions, they are not suitable for hedges in limited spaces. Wrong plant; wrong place.
    For one thing, these 'cedars' have roots close to the surface and thrive when a large area beneath them is well-mulched and kept damp. That is the opposite of what I see in your photos.
    Although the green canopy looks pretty good at the moment, I would say these trees' days are numbered what with terrible growing conditions and evidence of insect damage.
    Frankly, I don't know what you could plant to replace them in such a confined space. I'd consider putting 'Emerald Green' cedars in large containers along the fence. (Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd')

    I know this sounds harsh but I learned the hard way in a previous garden where there was lots of space to plant a 150-foot hedge of these giants. (As @Georgia Strait says, they were free!) It didn't take many years before the yearly pruning became a burden - I might have replaced them with something more civilized but we moved away instead. :-) Nearby, a very old house had a hedge of Thuja plicata that the owners kept manicured for decades - I remember marveling about that - but it was at least 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide.
     
  10. 8Peonies

    8Peonies Active Member

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    Thanks all for confirming genus.

    Georgia: when I moved here, fence and trees were already here. Given there is a fence, trees seem redundant as far as privacy is concerned; however they have acted as a barrier to some degree for the dust from the weather and/nature and the traffic, which is fairly busy. Truth is the trees require regular maintenance and energy - which is, waning year by year:)! I will give an attempt in treating whatever is boring through the trunks and protect the trunks on very sunny days and see how that goes. With climate change, every year getting hotter and possibly more watering restrictions, and our most recent heatwave and hot temperatures scorching the lawn, have to rethink of a better way to manage the garden!
     

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