25 Year Old Cedar


The attached pictures show a 25 year old cedar foundation planting that, as you can see, has gone “out of control”. It is located on the north side of my house. During snow or heavy winds, it is now separating in to 3 sections. Is there any way of saving this tree? I would like a reply as soon as possible as it is scheduled to be cut down shortly unless it can be saved. Thank you


Thanks for your question to Toronto Master Gardeners.

It would appear that the weight of heavy wet snow initially caused some of the cedar branches to pull away from the trunk of the tree.   If the separation happened just last winter, you might have a chance to revive it by pulling the errant branches back into position as suggested by Mark Cullen in 2014. See the link below and his recommendation in italics.


I suggest that you either pull evergreens into an upright position and secure them there using long, two-by-two-inch stakes, or use guide wires secured in three positions with tent pegs hammered into the ground. The wires should pass through a section of old garden hose, about 30 cm long, where they meet the woody portion of the trees to prevent damage from the tense wires.

However, if the separation has been there for several years, I am not sure if the branches can be pulled back to the main trunk.

This is an older tree and saving an older tree is always preferred, so a discussion with an arborist is recommended. You can find an arborist in your area at the Landscape Ontario website noted below:


Good luck with your cedar.