Cedar Hedge Planting Tips

The most often used species of cedar is Cedrus libani. Other species include the Mexican white, Ceylon, Australian red and western red. All are conifers, or evergreens, growing from a singular trunk in a cone shape, making them tidy trees to use for a hedgerow. Given that a sapling 1 to 2 years of ages can reach 6 feet tall, planting them in a hedge can be time consuming and heavy on manual labor. There are several ways to ensure all goes well.

Plan

Before you start digging holes, consider the area where you want to place them. Check the blueprints of your home as well as with city hall to make sure that there are no power lines, phone lines, water pipes, sewage lines or septic tanks near your intended hedge. Cedars placed in proximity to one another can intertwine roots, causing damage to any pipes nearby. Mark out the spots you intend to place a tree. There should be about 4 feet of clearance between trees to allow them to grow unimpeded.

The Holes

Digging holes can be more difficult than it sounds. Making sure the bottom is level and the sides even is laborious, so don't. Instead, dig a trench along the line of the intended hedge, 2 feet in width. This is much easier and allows for fertilization. Ideally, the trench should be the height of the cedars' rootballs plus 6 inches to ensure sufficient ground cover. Also, uproot any surrounding grass and weeds. This will reduce the amount of competition the new cedars have for moisture. Adding fertilizer to the soil before placing the cedars will help reduce the shock of transplant. Four cups of bone meal and a 1 lb. bag of peat moss for every 6 feet of trench will provide them with sufficient nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.

The Trees

Seedlings, saplings and young trees should not be out of soil for any length of time. If they start out in pots, soak the root systems in water until they can be placed in the trench. If they come wrapped in burlap, such as from a plant nursery, the burlap must be cut away with a sharp knife or scissors. Before planting, check the root system thoroughly. It's possible the cedars have become root-bound, where the roots have run out of space in their containers and begun to grow back in on themselves. Lateral slices should be made around the entire rootball if this is the case, each slice about 3 inches apart and no more than 2 inches deep. Once the cedars have been placed in the ground, it is important to pack the soil around them tightly to avoid air pockets. If an air pocket is left against a root, that root will wither.

Keywords: planting hedges, cedar hedges, planting cedar trees

About this Author

John Albers is a 25 year old freelance writer with dual degrees from the University of Central Florida in English literature and psychology, and a goodly amount of experience in most fields besides. He's successfully published 800 online and printed articles of a technical nature, and fictional works with Bewildering Stories and Mindflights Magazine, though he's currently working on a debut novel.