Cedar Trees circle around our backyard


Hello. We moved to a house where there is a backyard pool and cedar trees that surround the property lines. The Cedar trees seem to be dying one after another. We don’t want to resort to fencing and like the trees. What options would you suggest. We need something that is low maintenance solution. If we start using Yew trees it would have to be one at a time, which may look strange. We don’t own want to cut down all the trees if some are doing ok.


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with concerns about your cedar trees.  It must be frustrating to see them failing one after the other.  Since you have only recently moved in, you have no way of knowing how recently these trees were planted, and whether they were planted properly or how they were cared for before you took possession.

Cedars are very popular as hedges and privacy screening. We frequently get asked the same question about cedars turning brown, so as a result we have a lot of information on our site about cedars and their care.  Log into the “Ask a Master Gardener” website using “emerald cedar” “cedar” or “cedar browning” to find lots of useful information about this popular evergreen.   One of the most frequent causes of the failure of these trees is inadequate watering.  This is especially true with the hot, dry spell we have been having.  Newly planted cedars should be watered with a soaker hose for a couple of hours, once or twice a week.  Cedars should be watered right up until the ground freezes as they do require moisture even throughout the winter.

I am including a couple of links for you.  The first details the growing conditions required for these trees; the second will be helpful in deciding what to replace your dying cedars with.  I wish you luck with your new garden.