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Cedar Tree Requirements

pinecones from a cedar tree image by Carol Wingert from

Cedar tree requirements vary based on the type of cedar tree, but most cedar trees require the same amount of water, light, soil and fertilizer. When planting cedar trees in landscaping, always check with your local nursery for any specific requirements for the cultivar you have chosen. It's also a good idea to check the USDA hardiness zone for the particular cultivar, though most cedar trees thrive in zones 5 through 8.

Water Requirements

Many types of cedar trees tolerate drought, but this does not mean that they should not be watered. In the rainy season, the tree should get enough water, but in dry seasons, be sure to water a cedar tree with at least 1 inch of water per week. Giving the tree 1 inch of water per week ensures that the deeper roots have moisture and nutrients available to feed the tree.

Soil Requirements

Must cultivars tolerate most types of soil, including clay, sand and loam, as long as the soil is slightly alkaline and well-drained. If the soil in the area is not well-draining, build a French drain to help remove excess standing water. The French drain can lead to the edge of the property, or a section of landscaping that requires excess water.

Light Requirements

A cedar tree needs partial shade to sun (sun is equivalent to less than six hours of continuous sunlight per day). When designing a landscape that incorporates cedar trees, choose a spot that gets all morning sun or a few hours of the hot, afternoon sun. A cedar tree should not be planted in an area where it gets full sun, if the majority of the sun is the hot, afternoon sun.

Fertilizer Requirements

Prior to fertilizing a cedar tree, conduct a soil test. Soil test kits are available at your local nursery or big box home and garden store. If the soil shows no missing nutrients, it is not necessary to fertilize a cedar tree. If the soil is lacking in a specific nutrient, use a fertilizer based in the lacking nutrient. In lieu of a soil test, fertilize a cedar tree once every third year in the spring with a good, all-around shrub-and-tree fertilizer.

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