Cedars are a favourite throughout Southwest BC not only for decorative privacy hedges, but as stand-alone tree species that generate a pleasant, earthy smell. There are several reasons your shrub or tree can lose needles or show red and brown patches.
1. Ground saturation from standing water can cause root rot, which “strangle” the roots because they don’t get enough oxygen. There’s no way to stop the spread of root rot once the tree is affected by this malady, but removing an infected cedar tree can stop the spread of this fungus to nearby healthy trees. If you need a tree removed, call our team for help. We’ll remove the tree without damaging the surrounding property, including power lines and proximity buildings. Removing trees is a safety hazard, so please don’t try this yourself.
2. Budworms, spider mites and other pests can damage cedar trees by turning the needles brown. These pests are easily controlled by our tree pest and disease control program. The trick is to catch the invasion early before it becomes an infestation.
3. Drought stress, especially in newly planted shrubs and seedlings mean you may lose your plants. It’s really important to plant in prepared soil and water appropriately before this damage occurs. If you’re dealing with drought damage after-the-fact and the plant has turned red, we recommend removing the dead tree or shrub and replanting. Our landscaping team is available to replant hedges and place inline watering for tree health.
4. Seasonal needle drop is a normal cycle all cedars go through during the late summer months. Cedars will drop old ineffective needles making room for new growth the following spring.
As an easy-care shrub, cedars produce natural oils that are toxic to fungus and some insects, which makes them disease resistant. The most commonly known cedar hedge species is the Eastern Red Cedar, which is actually in the juniper family.
Intruder alert! Deer can really do a lot of damage to your tasty hedge. Keeping your cedar trees safe from grazing deer is a problem that can be solved by hanging fragrant soap bars inside the hedge where rain won’t melt them too fast. A barking dog will usually scare them off, although this method can irritate your neighbours. Installing a motion activated sprinkler can work wonders, and doesn’t harm the environment [hopefully you won’t blast your mail carrier like we did, sorry!].
For cedar tree and hedge care, contact the experts at Twin Rivers Tree Service & Landscaping. We serve property owners and municipal agencies throughout the Thompson-Nicola district and Lower Mainland. We are an experienced team of certified arborists and utility arborists who love planting, pruning and managing BC’s trees.