My 8′ hedge died due to a flood last summer. I am having the hedge removed and the stumps ground up.
My question is if I can plant another cedar hedge to replace the dead ones?
Is there any concerns about the soil re fungus?
Should I be adding anything to the soil before replanting the cedars? When can I replant the cedars?
Hello Diane, thank you for reaching out for advice from the Toronto Master Gardeners. What a shame you lost your lovely hedge due to flooding. Emerald Cedars are a challenge in Ontario, troubles with Cedars rank at the top of our enquiry list. The problem is that Emerald Cedars or Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd’ are typically farmed in BC and our extremes of hot/cold plus wet/dry are an anathema to these evergreens. We mostly see failure of these trees due to drought conditions as they do thrive in moist conditions, but as in your case they also cannot tolerate being left in standing water for too long as the roots are starved of oxygen and become susceptible to Armillaria fungus which of course is devastating to the tree. You did mention your concern over fungus; did you see signs for the Armillaria fungus on the trees before they died? Signs would be the appearance of white fungal thread like growth at the base of the tree and between the layers of bark of the trunk, also the tree starts dying from the top down. Honey colored mushrooms may (or may not) appear at the roots. If you do suspect that the Armillaria fungus is the culprit, then you have a serious problem on your hands as the spores of this fungus can live on in the soil for many years. We usually suggest that you avoid replanting in the same site, but in your case I suspect that that is not a practical solution. Stump removal is necessary and removing and replacing all the surrounding soil would be a good start for a new hedge. However, if you did not see these signs it may be the case that your trees died simply because of “drowning” in standing water – as many other trees would also do. In this case, you would remove your stumps and go ahead replanting your hedge after properly prepared beds:
I am including the following links that may assist in your planting:
I would also like to include the following helpful gardening guide with alternatives to Emerald Cedars:
Best wishes and good luck with your project!