How to Care for and Plant a Cedar Tree


Cedar trees have been important to humans for a long time. The wood of the tree was used by Native Americans for canoes, weapons and bowls. Cedar wood was also an important fuel source. Today, we use cedar for pencils and wood crafts. In the landscape, a cedar tree makes an impressive accent. The cedar is very easy to grow, is drought-tolerant and will live a long time.

Step 1

Till the planting area with a rototiller to a depth of 12 inches.

Step 2

Dig a hole three times the depth of the pot in which the tree is currently growing. The hole should be three times the diameter as well.

Step 3

Add 3 inches of peat moss to the hole.

Step 4

Fill the planting hole with water and position the tree in the hole. Fill the hole with soil and, using your feet, tamp the soil around the base of the tree.

Step 5

Water the cedar tree, using a soaker hose, for two to three hours in the morning and evening for the first three weeks after planting. After that, water when the weather is particularly dry.

Step 6

Lay down 3 inches of cedar mulch around the base of the tree, and over the soaker hose, but keep it 2 inches away from the bark. Mulch helps conserve the moisture in the soil and, applied over the soaker hose, will help keep the hose from being disturbed by animals.

Step 7

Fertilize the cedar tree for the first time five months after planting. Use a 15-30-15 formula fertilizer at the rate recommended on the fertilizer packaging.

Step 8

Inspect the tree periodically for signs of pest infestation. Spider mites are particularly attracted to the cedar tree and can be identified by a browning of the lower branches. Horticultural oil will manage a spider mite infestation.

Step 9

Prune out dead and dying branches and keep the soil around the tree free from leaves and other detritus. ‭

Things You'll Need

  • Rototiller
  • Shovel
  • Peat moss
  • Soaker hose
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Horticultural oil
  • Pruning shears


  • "‬Landscape Management:‭ ‬Planting and Maintenance of Trees,‭ ‬Shrubs and Turfgrass‭;" ‬James R.‭ ‬Feucht and Jack D.‭ ‬Butler‭; ‬1988
  • University of California: Cedar
  • Planting and Care
Keywords: plant cedar tree, care for cedar, grow a cedar

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.