Cedar replacement


We continue to try to get new cedars to grow in an area where other cedars have been tried many times, what could the problem be? The area is protected, shaded, well watered, holes redug. We are north of Toronto. What other evergreens would you suggest to mix with other cedars.


When you say that you have tried many times and failed to grow cedars, it’s hard to know what the problem is without more information.

Eastern White Cedar (botanical name: Thuja occidentalis) is the evergreen most often used for year round privacy hedges. Ontario Eastern White Cedar means that the tree was grown in Ontario which ensures a good resistance to our climate. They normally grow well in clay to sandy soils, in full sun to part shade. After planting, trees will need regular watering, particularly during dry periods, for the first couple of years. Once established, however, cedars are low maintenance.

Whether you have been having trouble with establishing young cedars, or if you have lost well-established plants, there is a good guide to the various insects and diseases that might be the problem. It can be found on the Natural Resources Canada website. Take a look and see if you recognize any of the symptoms they describe. There is another excellent diagnostic guide at the BC Ministry of Agriculture site.

If nothing they describe seems to fit your situation, please repost your question with more details of what is happening to the trees, ideally, with pictures.

We are reluctant to recommend replacement plants until it’s clear what is going on. For example, Armillaria root rot, common in cedar groves, affects a very wide range of trees, including Balsam Fir, Birch, Black Spruce, Eastern White-Cedar, Eastern White Pine, Jack Pine, Larches / Tamaracks, Maple, Poplars / Aspens / Cottonwoods, Red Pine, Scots Pine, Shore Pine, Tamarack, Western Larch, and White Spruce.


Eastern Ontario White Cedars