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How to Grow a Cedar Tree

By Hollan Johnson ; Updated September 21, 2017

Growing cedar trees is not difficult as many varieties of cedar trees grow all over the U.S. This evergreen, which can be planted to add character or as a barrier plant, can grow to imposing heights. Different varieties of cedar trees are hardy from zones 2 to 9, so no matter where you live you can probably find a type of cedar that will grow in your area.

Choose a variety of cedar tree to plant in your yard. Keep in mind your USDA zone so you plant a tree that is compatible.

Choose a spot in your yard to plant the cedar tree. Cedar trees like full sun and well-drained soil, but most cedar trees can handle any soil type, from loamy to clay to sand.

Plant your cedar tree in the spring, after the ground has thawed. Dig a hole for the tree or seedling deep enough to accommodate the roots. If you are planting a tree, the hole should be about two to three feet deep and two feet wide. If you are planting a seedling, the hole should be about six inches deep and eight inches in diameter. Place the cedar tree in the hole and fill it with soil half way, then fill the hole with water. Allow the soil to soak up the water. Finish filling the hole with soil. Pat it down firmly.

Water your cedar tree regularly while it is under a month old. Keep the ground around the cedar moist at all times. Once the tree is older than a month, cut back to watering it once every two weeks for five to 10 minutes each watering.

Weed the area around your cedar tree. Allow no weeds to grow and compete with it. Apply mulch to discourage weed growth.

Fertilize your cedar with compost or manure applied near the base of the tree in the spring.

Prune your cedar tree in the spring while the tree is dormant. Remove any dead or damaged branches. Trim back any over-reaching branches. Shape your cedar how you desire.



  • Plant a varieties of cedar that is drought resistant, like red cedar, if you live in a dry climate.


  • Deer and rabbits will feed on cedar in the winter and spring. Plant them inside a barrier to prevent this.


About the Author


Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.