Blue atlas cedar is an ideal evergreen tree for growing in Georgia climates. It thrives in USDA Hardiness Zones 6 through 9 and the entire state falls between zones 7 and 9. Blue atlas cedar is so striking in color and form that it easily serves as a specimen ornamental tree as well as being ideal for screening. The trees can also be planted en masse to create small forested stands of high impact and low maintenance trees.
Select a planting location with a full-sun to partial-shade exposure that is protected from heavy winds that can thin the foliage.
Choose a location that can accommodate the tree at its mature size. Blue atlas cedar does not transplant easily and does not look its best when pruned. Allow overhead clearance of 60 to 100 feet and a circumferential clearance of 40 feet out from the trunk.
Provide an easy-draining soil that is either nutrient rich humus, sandy or even slightly dry and rocky, provided it is not consistently wet and water does not pool in the soil. Atlas cedar will tolerate neutral to slightly alkaline soil but does best with a lightly acidic pH. Amend highly alkaline soils with elemental sulfur to lower the pH and make the soil more acidic.
Irrigate the tree regularly and deeply when rainfall is not plentiful. While long established, mature trees with ample root spread are drought tolerant, watering will boost the tree's performance and appearance. Aim to keep the soil light and evenly moist but never soaking wet for any length of time. Water in wide ring around the drip line of the cedar, keeping a foot or two out from the trunk.
Mulch around the base of the tree twice a year with a few inches of an organic material such as pine needles, compost, shredded bark or leaf mold. Mulch will hold moisture in the soil, insulate the roots from temperature fluctuations and keep weeds from cropping up.