How to protect your cedars

Unless they are exposed to high winds or planted near the street, there is no need to protect Thuja occidentalis and Thuja occ. Nigra since they rarely show any damage after the winter. Some conditions, however, require more precautions.

Cedars subject to strong winds

Make sure it is protected from prevailing winds to reduce the damage associated with desiccating foliage. It should be noted that summer winds combined with sunlight can contribute to this phenomenon as well as winter winds.

Hedge planted near the street

Make sure that the foliage does not come into contact with the de-icing salt, which could be thrown by passing cars or the spreader.

Ornamental cedars

Some ornamental varieties are more fragile. This is the case of the cultivar ‘Smaragd’ (Emerald). For these pyramidal cedars, which are often made up of several trunks, it may be useful to attach all trunks together to avoid some deformations due to the accumulation of snow and ice.

Best period

It is important to protect the plants as late as possible in the fall. Most cedars, like many types of conifers, change color when winter arrives. This color change informs us that it is time to install a winter protection. It is also important to remove protection early in the spring, when the risk of large freezes is removed: the goal is to prevent temperatures from rising under the protections. Proceed on a cloudy day to prevent the risk of sunstroke.


The annual trim is without a doubt the most effective way to prevent snow and ice from causing damage to your cedars. In addition, a good watering before the first frost of autumn will allow your cedars to store the water they will need during days of thaw.

Winter protection step by step

  • Plant stakes along the hedge, on the side of the prevailing wind or the street, as the case may be;
  • Make sure the foliage of your cedars will not come in contact with the protection;
  • Attach a snow fence to the stakes;
  • Wrap the snow fence with a specially designed geotextile fabric or with a staple attached to the jute.

Errors to avoid …

  • Do not instal a jute that touches the foliage of cedars: de-icing salts could contaminate the foliage;
  • Do not instal winter protection too early in the fall. Softer temperatures may cause overheating inside the protections;
  • Stifle the cedar by tighten too much the protection: you must leave it so that it does not suffer from fungal diseases.