I can’t believe it’s due to deer eating the new growth only.
What else can I do to save them.
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners concerning your cedar hedge.
Without a close up image it is difficult to know for sure if there is any other factors other than environmental affecting your cedar hedge. That being said, the fact that the lower growth has been removed at the same height along the entire length of the hedge leads me to believe there is some critter eating the new growth. I suspect it could be rabbits sitting on the top of the snow and enjoying a meal. Unfortunately, during the winter hungry deer and rabbits will seek out young tender shoots.
Next year you might want to erect a burlap barrier around your cedar hedge. This would deter deer and perhaps rabbits from browsing the new growth. A great resource is Landscape Ontario’s article on Winter Protection for Delicate Plants.
Another suggestion would be to try spraying your plants next spring or fall with an animal deterrent, either SKOOT or Plantskydd, which is readily available at your local garden center. As with all products, it is important that you read the directions before use. Some plants such as roses are sensitive to these products so it is important to test your plants before spraying a large area.
Lastly, we have a wealth of information on the proper care of cedar hedges on our website. Simply type cedar hedge into the Find It Here box located on the right side of the page to find numerous archived posts.