Emerald cedar – planting in November


Good morning, we want to plant emerald secar along our backyard fence. We would like to know if it’s better to wait for next spring or if there’s still time to plant now.



Thanks for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners. I think at this point in the season it would be best to wait until the spring to plant Emerald Cedars (Thuja occidentalis  ‘Smaragd’ or ‘Emerald Green’) in your backyard. The best time to plant them is mid to late spring when the soil has warmed up a little. The second best time is during the cool days in the early fall, so the plant has a few months to establish some roots before the ground freezes up. I think planting your cedars now in mid/late November won’t allow for a long enough settling in period.

When it’s time to plant, there are a couple of things to keep in mind :

Emerald Cedars dislike dry, sandy soil, as well as excessively moist clay soil. They prefer moist, organic, well drained soil. So you might want to amend your soil with compost to provide a good growing environment, and mulch around the trunks (not up against them) to help to retain moisture if this is needed with the type of soil you have. Also, Emerald Cedars prefer full sun.

Here is a link from the Missouri Botanical Garden that provides information about Emerald Cedars :


The Toronto Master Gardeners get a lot of questions about these plants, and there is lots of information about them on our website. Here is a link to one of the entries about planting Emerald Cedars :

Planting Emerald cedar


There is lots of additional information available on on our website. Just type ‘emerald cedar’ into the search box under ‘Find it Here’ on our home page.

Good luck with your cedars !