How to plant your cedar hedge

  1. To minimize stress for your cedars, protect them well during transportation and keep them in a shady spot until planting. Plant them as soon as possible and make sure they do not run out of water.
  2. Delineate the planting area with a rope and stakes to get a straight line;
  3. Remove the top of the clod to locate the collar of the plant. Measure the height of the clod relative to this point. The trench should be 1 times the height and 1.5 times the width of the clod. It is important not to dig deeper. Even with a job well done, clod will continue to compress with the rain, the weight of the snow, etc. At all costs, the trench must not be below ground level.
  4. Dig the trench at the indicated width and depth. If the soil is adequate, incorporate an amendment to the land that has been removed. Planting soil or good compost is ideal for improving the composition. However, if the existing soil is not of good quality, mix it with a good, slightly sandy brown garden soil, commonly known as “topsoil”. It is also important to add some transplant fertilizer from ground bone and mycorrhizae to stimulate rooting.
  5. Place the cedars in the trench:

Fielded Cedars: Remove the cedar from its container taking care not to break the root ball. Put the clod in the plantation pit. Make sure the cedar is straight and the collar is flush with the ground, or even 1 inch or 2 above.

Cedar rooted in pot: Cut the pot with a utility knife and remove the cedar from its container. Detach the roots that have rolled up if necessary. Put the root ball in the plantation pit. Make sure the cedar is straight and the collar is flush with the ground, or even 1 inch or 2 above.

Cedars sold in a basket of brooch, jute and cords: Deposit the root ball in the trench. Clear the top of the root ball without breaking it. To do this, cut and fold the jute to the bottom of the pit. Do the same with the spit basket. Make sure the cedar is straight and the collar is flush with the ground, or even 1 inch or 2 above. Do not remove the basket.

  1. Add the soil that has been set aside or your potting mix, as the case may be, to fill the pit to a little more than half. Water thoroughly to get the soil to settle well and to fill any pockets of air that may have formed near the roots. Once the water has drained, add potting soil and compact around the roots. Add soil up to the collar level, but NEVER cover the collar.
  2. Stake or hold the hedge at your fence with a rope if you are exposed to the wind. Cedars should not move until they take root. This is one of the reasons why we recommend the “topsoil” instead of a plantation soil that would be too light.
  3. Cut the broken branches.
  4. Install a perforated hose at the cedar’s feet. This type of system uses water efficiently, without waste, and allows water to be applied directly to the roots. It should be known that this system is used to maintain soil moisture. Under no circumstances should watering mentioned in step 5 be neglected. If you wish, add a timer.
  5. Cover the trench with 10 cm of mulch and water to keep it in place. Mulch should not be in contact with the trunk.
  6. Now, all you have to do is maintain your hedge. To learn more about watering, fertilizers, cut and protection against desiccation, see our different articles.
  7. Do you still have questions? Contact us! It will be our pleasure to help you.

A few tips

  • Handle cedars with care;
  • Avoid extreme temperatures;
  • Do not bury the branches or the collar of the cedars;
  • Do not shorten the roots;

How to plant your cedar hedge in poorly drained soil

Thuja has good tolerance to many types of soil. However, they must be drain properly, contrary to a popular belief claiming that the Thuja grow in water: « Drown them! » will say some of your neighbors.

Soil compaction increases soil density and decreases porosity. In other words, it provides physical resistance to rooting and causes root asphyxia.

Some clues that can help you diagnose problematic soil:

  • Before planting, observe the section concerned. After heavy rains, does your soil drain properly or is there some accumulations of water? The very slow infiltration of surface water and the absence of earthworms are a good indication.
  • In addition, a clay soil works a little like plasticine: you can roll it into a ball that will spread under the pressure of the fingers rather than crumble.

Planting cedars, like most plants, is more precarious in poorly drained or compacted soil. Ideally, the situation should be permanently corrected by installing a drainage system or by raising your lot, but since these changes are usually complex and expensive, another approach can often be considered: elevated plantation.

  1. Dig a trench with a depth equivalent to two-thirds of the height of the root ball and a width equal to twice its width. Keep some of the soil removed and mix it with good, slightly sandy brown garden soil, commonly known as “topsoil”. This will avoid creating a pit where surface water would tend to spill. In addition, since plant roots adapt to the nature of the soil they encounter, they may not venture beyond the boundary if there were too many differences between two layers of soil. An intermediate mixture between the two zones allows the roots to adapt.
  2. Fill the trench with soil up to a little more than half. Water to fill the air pockets that could have formed. When the water has drained, add potting soil to the level of the collar, but do not cover it, and compact the soil around the roots. If necessary, use more soil to shape a small mound. Make sure the collar is still clear and the roots are well covered with soil.
  3. Stake or hold the hedge at your fence with a rope if you are exposed to the wind. Cedars should not move until they take root. This is one of the reasons why we recommend the “topsoil” instead of a plantation soil that would be too light.
  4. To avoid increasing ventilation and soil drainage problems, do not apply mulch, or very little if you still want a nice finish. In this case, a forest compost could be used in small quantities. Over time, it could improve the quality of your soil.
  5. Do you still have questions? Contact us! It will be our pleasure to help you.

A few tips

  • Handle cedars with care;
  • Avoid extreme temperatures;
  • Do not bury the branches or the collar of the cedars;
  • Do not shorten the roots;

What is the best time to plant your hedge

Spring and fall are ideal for planting potted cedars and jute-covered basket cedars. As for root-potted cedars, they can be transplanted without problems from April to November.

When planting is done early in the spring, while cedars are barely out of dormant season, the signs of stress that could be caused by transplantation are barely existent. It is even common to see growth in the year of transplantation.

Since the water supply is made by the root system of the plant, it is essential to avoid periods of intense heat and drought.

Autumn has the advantage of offering a good recovery while requiring little care. The season is often rainy and, as the nights are cool, the soil tends to dry up less quickly. However, protection against winter desiccation may be necessary if the plantation is exposed to winds or is located at the edge of the hardiness zone.