5 years old dying and browning Emerald cedars


Hi ,we Emeralds cedar trees 5 years old that after 2017 winter they turn brown
We leave in Ottawa Ontario and I wondering if the trees dying or we can do something to bring them back again


Thank you for your inquiry.  I see from your email that the cedars have been struggling for the past 2 summers.  Emerald cedars (Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd’) make a wonderful hedge when they are watered thoroughly on a regular basis and the roots not allowed to dry out, especially when our summers have been so extremely hot and dry.  We also suggest the use of a drip irrigation hose which allows the ground to become soaked down to root level.  Lack of proper watering will produce browning on the tips, and eventually the entire plant.

It is unlikely you have any insect infestation on the plant and the most common reason for browning is improper watering.  I also see a large tree (Honeylocust?) in the photo, which will use a large amount of water as well.  If the tree is providing too much shade, this may also be contributing to your cedar decline, as Emerald Cedars prefer a sunnier location.

Your climatic zone in Ottawa (Zone 4/5) should be perfectly suitable for this evergreen and from your photo, it looks like they are fairly protected by fencing.  Judging by the photos provided, your cedars are fairly damaged.   Once a branch is completely brown, it will not regenerate new growth.  Unfortunately, it may be necessary to remove the cedars and re-plant new ones.

Please visit our website www.torontomastergardeners.ca for information about Cedar health and maintenance.

I have also added another link which may add to the answer above.