Dying Emerald Cedars



Rain runoff in spring and fall from neighbour’s higher ground results in standing water which kills my cedars.  I have planted cedars three times.
I would really like to grow cedars in this area.  Any  suggestions would be appreciated.



Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.  It really depends on the height of your neighbour’s property.  If it’s less than two feet higher than your property you might consider building a berm in this area. Berms are mounded hills of dirt constructed for reasons such as blocking out unwanted views, improving drainage or creating privacy. Berms can be constructed using fill such as plant debris, soil, sand or rubble. Cover the material you use with soil amended with compost. The berm should be about four to five times as long as it is high, gradually trailing or spreading out into the lawn and no higher than 18 – 24 inches. The berm can be supported by plants and stones that will stop erosion. You will need to consider the impact on water drainage on your property since the water from your neighbour’s property will be redirected.

For more information about berms please see the following links:

Creating And Using Berms In The Landscape

“Creating A Landscape Berm” by Dorian Winslow

10 Berm Landscaping Tips: Building A Berm Or Landscape Mounds

If the idea of building a berm seems too daunting or inappropriate you might consider consulting with a professional landscaper about the problem. You will find information about professional landscapers at this website: