7 steps to planting cedar trees and making an attractive hedge

Some people plant cedars to create privacy; others plant a hedge because they don’t want to have to look at the neighbour’s junky yard next door; and some people simply enjoy a hedge because it beautifies their landscaping.
Whatever your motivation, it’s important to know how to plant cedar trees properly to get a good result. Here are some tips for a successful cedar hedge.
1. Do it at the right time

If possible, plant your cedars as soon as the ground has thawed in early spring. You can also wait until the fall. Summer heatwaves could prove fatal for the survival of a young hedge, especially if watering is strictly regulated by your municipality.

2. Calculate how many cedar trees you’ll need

Once you’ve determined the location of the hedge (check in advance where your land ends and the neighbour’s starts), calculate the number of cedars it will take to grow into a good border—you’ll need to leave about 75 centimetres between each cedar. If you want to plant your hedge along the street, make sure you respect the distance from the pavement required by law.

3. Dig a trench

To plant cedars, dig a trench about 80 centimetres wide by 40 centimetres deep.

4. Amend the soil

If your soil is soft (porous and crumbly), you can plant your cedars without having to change anything. Otherwise, replace it with good topsoil and add bone meal or mycorrhizal fungi as an amendment. If the soil is poor, add sheep manure as well. If it’s sandy or gravelly, use sphagnum moss to help retain water and fertilizer. To determine the amount of each amendment required for your hedge, talk to the staff at a plant nursery or garden centre.

5. Plant your cedars

When planting the trees, make sure the root balls will be well covered when they’re buried. Water the roots and trench soil liberally. Wait until the soil has absorbed the water before filling in the trench.

6. Water frequently

One of the most important things in learning how to plant cedar trees is watering them properly. If it doesn’t rain, you should water your new hedge at least once a week for over an hour or so. Keep the soil moist, but not soaked. If your cedars change colour, you may be watering them too much; if the leaves become dry and prickly, they’re not getting enough water.

7. Maintain your hedge

To ensure that your hedge survives the winter, stop giving it fertilizer when July comes. Otherwise, most cedars don’t need winter protection. Trim your hedge at least once a year, between mid-June and late September. Trim it back on both sides so it doesn’t expand too much.

For additional guidance on how to plant cedar trees, don’t hesitate to go to a nursery or garden centre; there, you’ll find the people who know better than anyone how to make a great hedge!

7 steps to planting cedar trees and making an attractive hedge
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