Cedar Hedge

(Question)

Our cedar hedge is approximately 15 feet high. In late summer 2014 we had a tree company trim it. I believe they cut it back more than necessary. It is stressed but slowly coming back. We water it in dry weather and fertilized it once a month last summer until September. This is tedious as the hedge is 160 feet long. Is it too late to add a slow release fertilizer this year? And should I remove the leaves that accumulate beneath the hedge? Your kind response is greatly appreciated.

 

 

(Answer)

It’s good to hear your cedar hedge is regaining its vitality this spring after last year’s pruning. The upkeep is arduous with such a long hedge, but monthly fertilizing during the summer is probably unnecessary. The leaves that accumulate beneath the hedge provide excellent nutrients and act as a mulch, keeping the trees moist, so they should be left in place. While it is not too late to apply a slow release fertilizer, it might be preferable to apply compost or an organic fertilizer of bone and blood meal. See an earlier Toronto Master Gardeners response to a similar question:

Fertilizing cedar hedges