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Problems with Cedar Trees

Cedar trees have a beautiful color tone of wood and a lovely aroma, but there are problems associated with growing and living near certain types of cedar. The mountain cedar creates havoc for certain residents in the U.S. and Mexico, especially during the winter when its pollen flies freely. Problems related to growing cedar trees include planting issues and their attraction to animals and insects.

Planting Problems

If your red or white cedar tree hedges are dying, the problem may be due to issues such as desiccation, girdling or planting the trees too deep. Desiccation occurs when the rootball dries out before the cedar trees are planted, which prevents new root growth. Girdling is when the rootball becomes root bound in the grower’s container, and is not properly cut and spread when planting the tree. This causes the taproot to grow around the stem’s base, killing the cedar tree. If you plant your cedar trees too deep, the roots will die out from a lack of oxygen.

Insects and Animals

Juniper scale, mites, root weevil and cypress tip moth are among the insects that are attracted to cedar trees. Symptoms of insect infestation include yellow or browning foliage, white spun cocoons, depleted plant sap and black sooty mold. Mice, other rodents and even dogs enjoy munching on cedar trees. They strip the bark and chew the tree which can cause the branches on one side of the tree or the overall tree to die.


Mountain cedar trees create pollen that causes severe allergies from December through February to people living in central Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico and northern Mexico. Pollen from mountain cedar trees affects the lining tissue of a person’s lungs, nose and eyes, with resulting discomfort and allergic symptoms that include runny nose, sneezing, nasal blockage, headaches, fatigue, excess tearing and itchy eyes. Residents of central Texas are most vulnerable during the pollen season as there are a significant number of mountain cedars growing there. Allergic reactions to cedar are not limited to the mountain cedar or to pollen; shavings from cedar trees that are used in dog beds may also lead to allergies in humans.

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