I live on the B.C. coast, Powell River Canada. My new boss had some cedar hedge trees planted in the spring. When I started working for him, some of the trees started browning. After some investigating, I realized they had been planted almost a foot too deep ( below the root ball)I have since re-planted them. The roots had not grown and there were air pockets. There was alot of green still but have browned more since re-planting. Can the trees go green again in the spring, or should we remove them and replace? What can I do to help them survive?
Replanting any tree or shrub will cause it to go into shock. The severity of that shock depends on the level of care provided. Since you live on the BC coast, the climate there should at least give the cedars a fighting chance, however, I understand you had an unusually dry summer.
With the proper care which includes plenty of water and cedar fertilizer, they should recover. It would be beneficial to cut away and dead or brown areas of the plant to discourage disease. Be prepared to see more damage until they can start to recover which can take a long time. If the shock is too severe, they may not recover at all so be prepared to replace those that don’t survive.